THE INQUEST opening into the death of Cwm teenager Alex Lewis heard yesterday he died of smoke inhalation caused by the blaze at his home last week.

The inquest opening in Newport heard how 17-year-old Alex Ashley Lewis was found by fire services at 3.30am on Sunday August 10 having collapsed at the foot of the stairs.

Gwent Coroner David Bowen said that the emergency services had been called to the teen’s home on Stewart Street, Cwm, Ebbw Vale..

Mr Lewis was taken by ambulance to Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, but was pronounced dead at 8.52am.

A post mortem examination was carried out on August 12 which said that the teenager died of inhalation of toxic gases caused by the blaze.

Police inquiries into the blaze are ongoing into the cause of the fire, but at the time of the incident it was not believed to be deliberate.

The inquest was adjourned for eight weeks to allow for police to continue with their inquires and for a report from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to be produced.

Since his death dozens have paid tribute to the teenager describing him as a "lovely boy" who had ambitions to join the army.

The teen was widely known as ‘Mousey’, because he was small and fast.

A friend of the family, Nicola Willams said: "He was a lovely boy and it is such a shock and such a loss to lose someone who always had a smile on his face."

Neighbours who said they had known him for his whole life said he was a “lovely boy, one of the best”, popular and well-respected.

One friend of his family said he was regularly seen in Cwm running as part of training as he looked to join the army.

Shortly after the incident last week Inspector Simon Powell-Jones said the teenager’s family were being supported and a joint investigation is now under way between the police and the fire service.