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Mystery over death of ex-cop 'who may have killed himself by setting off a gas explosion'

Malcolm Baker (pictured) died after a fire engulfed his home in Exmoor National Park around 6pm on September 14

Mystery over the death of a former Scotland Yard terrorist cop involved in the poisoning of Litvinenko ‘who may have committed suicide by setting off a gas explosion in a cottage’

  • Malcolm Baker, 60, died after a fire ripped through his home in Exmoor National Park
  • The fire caused a large explosion that could be heard a mile away
  • Human remains were later found inside the ruins of the property
  • Up to 30 officers meticulously combed through the house for evidence

A former Scotland Yard counter-terror cop who investigated the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the 7/7 bombing in London may have killed himself by setting off a gas explosion in his rooftop house thatch.

Malcolm Baker, 60, died after a fire engulfed his home in Brompton Regis, Exmoor National Park at around 6pm on September 14.

The fire caused an explosion, which could be heard a mile away and blew the roof off the property, reports The Sun.

Human remains were later found inside the ruins of the house following a search by specialists.

DNA testing is underway to confirm the victim is Mr Baker.

Neighbors reportedly believe a gas cylinder was deliberately opened and initially feared he had been the subject of a terrorist attack, but he allegedly committed suicide due to domestic issues.

Malcolm Baker (pictured) died after a fire engulfed his home in Exmoor National Park around 6pm on September 14

Malcolm Baker (pictured) died after a fire engulfed his home in Exmoor National Park around 6pm on September 14

Mr Baker was also part of the team that investigated the poisoning of Mr Litvinenko (pictured) in 2006

Mr Baker was also part of the team that investigated the poisoning of Mr Litvinenko (pictured) in 2006

A police spokesman said: ‘At this stage we do not believe there is third party involvement and we are not looking for anyone else in connection with our investigations.

Up to 30 officers meticulously combed the property for evidence after the explosion, with local residents recalling a loud bang and plumes of smoke rising into the air.

Withiel Fox, 60, told The Sun: ‘There is no gas supply in this chalet so it didn’t happen by accident. Due to his background, there was a lot of speculation as to what might have happened.

“He was missing after the explosion and it was feared that it was the Russians who caused it. It was feared that they had kidnapped or killed him to send a message to the government.

Mr. Baker has worked on a number of high-profile cases, including helping US officials investigate the 9/11 atrocities in 2001.

Mr Baker's home, Hiccombe House, in Brompton Regis, West Somerset, which was destroyed in the fire

Mr Baker’s home, Hiccombe House, in Brompton Regis, West Somerset, which was destroyed in the fire

He was also part of the team that investigated the poisoning of Mr Litvinenko in 2006. European judges ruled last year that the Russian state was responsible for his murder.

Mr Baker also investigated the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005, including 56 people.

Prior to his retirement from the police, he also worked as security for the London 2012 Olympics.

He is said to have worked as a security consultant before his death after moving to the London area with his partner.

Avon and Somerset Police said they had referred his death to the Independent Police Misconduct Bureau due to prior contact of a domestic nature.

It comes as another resident told the neighbor that Mr Baker was ‘not a nice man’, adding that he was ‘obnoxious and bullying and had fallen out with several locals’ .

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