A woman died after dousing her partner’s flat with petrol and setting fire to it after an argument over money.

Edith Fuller, 45, from Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, doused 58-year-old Mark Essex’s Guildford flat in petrol and set it on fire on March 19, 2012, a coroner’s court heard today.

Miss Fuller, who suffered with depression and had taken an overdose before, may have set fire to herself by accident after the petrol fumes ignited, Woking Coroners' Court heard.

Mr Essex said: “I was aware that there was something on the horizon, that she was going to do something like that. But I didn’t know what to do.”

Miss Fuller had locked Mr Essex in her spare bedroom in Surbiton after a row the day before she killed herself, he said.

After his cries for help were heard by neighbours he managed to escape, the inquest at Woking Coroner's Court heard.

The coroner heard that he found her in his flat when he returned home. After they reconciled they went for lunch, and he went on to work while she returned to his flat alone.

Mr Essex said she told him: "I have got a surprise for you tonight. I am going to tuck you into bed and give you a cuddle."

He said "I let myself in and walked into my flat and there was a very strange smell of a flammable substance.

"I asked what on earth she had been playing at and she said ‘I have been covering the flat with air freshener.’

"She was up to something. She had a bit of a grin on her face and a menacing look."

After he tried to escape the flat, she pulled him back inside and then set fire to petrol in the kitchen, he told the inquest.

He said: "The flames started immediately. She started screaming and I ran out of the flat. I was burnt by the flames. I suffered 80 per cent burns in the end.”

She ran past the front door and was found lying face-down in the bath, where it is believed she had fled to ‘put herself out’.

Coroner Martin Fleming concluded: "She intentionally started the fire although it is unclear whether there was an intention to take her own life."