The police and fire service are investigating after a man and 10 horses were killed in a blaze at a yard in Formby, Merseyside.

Lisa Coogan and her son Drew were away competing at the Scope Festival (21-28 August) when the blaze broke out at her stables in the early hours of Thursday (25 August).

Emergency services were called to the scene at around 5.40am, after local residents called to report a ferocious fire at the premises, in the grounds of Shorrocks Hill country club.

On arrival, firefighters entered the stables, where they discovered the body of Lisa’s brother Andrew Coogan.

The 10 horses were also found in the stable block that was completely destroyed by fire.

Andrew’s cause of death has not yet been established but today (26 August), Merseyside Police said: “Following the post mortem of Andrew Coogan, the cause of death has been withheld pending toxicology and histology.

The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.”

Merseyside police are taking the lead in the investigation into the incident, and have cordoned off the scene as well as conducting house-to-house enquiries.

Friends of the family have set up a Gofundme page to support the Coogans, who offered livery and lessons at the yard.

They wrote: “Today some devastating news was heard that my best friend’s stables caught fire. They have lost everything they have worked so hard on for for years, including their beloved horses and a family member.

“I can’t imagine how hard this must be for them to deal with so I’m trying my best to get some money sorted for them to help them get back on their feet.”

By Friday afternoon, donations to the page had totalled more than £1,700.

One donor wrote: “So sorry to hear about your tragic loss,I can’t imagine to begin what you’re going through.

“My daughter knows Drew and occasionally competes in the same classes, they seem like such lovely people.”