Fire safety warning as pensioner dies in blaze
Householders have been urged to take fire safety precautions this Christmas after a pensioner died in a blaze.
John 'Jack' Mahony (74) died from smoke inhalation when a fire started in his terrace house at Kelleher's Buildings off Dillons Cross, just 1km from Cork city centre. The fire is believed to have started just after 4am on Saturday.
The alarm was raised by neighbours shortly before 4.30am when smoke and flames were seen billowing from Mr Mahony's front windows and door.
Efforts by neighbours to gain entry to the building proved impossible because of the heat and smoke. Emergency services were at the scene within minutes and the fire was quickly brought under control.
Mr Mahony was the only occupant of the premises.
He was removed from the property by Cork fire brigade officials wearing breathing apparatus.
Despite desperate efforts by paramedics to revive him, he was pronounced dead at the scene before he could be transferred to hospital.
A full post-mortem examination is scheduled to be carried out at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.
It is believed Mr Mahony died from smoke inhalation after being overcome by fumes while he was sleeping.
Garda forensic experts conducted a full examination of the scene and a file will now be prepared for the Cork Coroner's office. An inquest is due to take place next year.
Garda sources said they were satisfied the fire started accidentally, though the precise cause remained unclear.
Initial indications are that the fire started in a downstairs living area of the two-storey property. It then spread quickly through the property.
Mr Mahony was found unconscious in a downstairs room.
Substantial damage was caused to the property before the blaze was brought under control by Cork fire brigade units.
Locals expressed shock at the tragedy and described Mr Mahony as a quiet man who was a wonderful neighbour.