AN elderly man died after a fire gutted his home, just metres from the local garda station, writes Ralph Riegel.
Retired antiques and art dealer Timothy 'Timmy' Arnold (74) is believed to have died from smoke inhalation.
The fire swept through the two-storey house on the main street of Rathcormac, Co Cork, shortly before 9pm on Sunday.
Mr Arnold lived alone.
Three units of Fermoy fire brigade extinguished the blaze within minutes of arriving.
The pensioner's body was found in a downstairs room. It is feared Mr Arnold was overcome by smoke.
A post-mortem examination was conducted at Cork University Hospital by assistant state pathologist Margaret Bolster.
A full investigation into the cause of the blaze is now under way by forensic experts but the fire is being treated as a tragic accident.
It is understood a large quantity of papers stored in the house may have exacerbated the impact of the blaze.
Locals expressed shock at the tragedy and described Mr Arnold as "a very quiet, very private man who kept to himself".
He is survived by his two elderly sisters, both of whom live in the UK.