This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation
20 November 2007, 19:59 GMT
Ellen Paddock, 31, said she developed lung cancer as a result of a blaze at an MoD site near her home in Donnington, Shropshire, in 1983.
A preliminary inquest hearing was told she died of broncho-pneumonia and an asbestos-related cancer in July.
Children held falling ash from the fire "like snowflakes", the coroner said.
The building contained asbestos and the fibres were let off into the atmosphere and settled on the surrounding area.
Other people who felt they were affected were asked to attend a public meeting earlier this year.
In April, a solicitor acting for Ms Paddock, a mother-of-three, said her client sought medical treatment for a swollen stomach last year, which was later diagnosed as a tumour.
The MoD board of inquiry report into the fire will form part of the evidence at the inquest.
The hearing was attended by Ms Paddock's family, the MoD and Telford and Wrekin Council who were involved in the clean up operation.