They have issued a warning about the dangers of the bags, as temperatures are set to fall this weekend.Paul Murphy, group manager for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said: "It appears the lady in this case may have used a wheat bag as a source of heating and warming up her bed.Mr Murphy added: "Wheat bags heated in microwave ovens are a well- known way of helping bring relief to aching joints and muscles - but they must be used with care."A product that absorbs and stores heat in this way is a potential fire risk if not used properly.The grandfather-of-seven said the incident has left him unable to 'trust or have confidence in people.''I used to be a postman and the man from the union saw the footage and told me not to watch as it's too sickening.'I was talking to someone and the next thing I know I'm seeing stars.Then I was falling down in what felt like slow motion.
Fire crews are investigating the cause of the blaze which killed Ms Hickey, who had lived alone for 16 years, but said it is likely a wheat bag was involved.
Mr Clarke was jailed at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court having admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.
It was said that there had been an earlier verbal exchange between the two men that Mr Clarke had ‘clearly escalated’.
"There are still investigations ongoing but we do think that the wheat bag has been possibly overheated and then left within a bed, and this has caused a smouldering, smothering effect as the quilt on top of the wheat bag has caused it to continue to generate heat.” Guidelines for wheat bags specify the maximum time they should be heated for, and also advise people against prolonged contact with their skin because of the risk of burns.
The bags were introduced almost 20 years ago and have developed into a booming industry – with bags for children, in different sizes including as pillows and containing lavender.