Young woman dies in fire at Limerick home of three rugby players
A YOUNG woman has died in a house fire in Limerick in the early hours of Monday morning.
The body of the woman, aged in her late 20s, was discovered by firefighters searching inside the property at The Oaks, Riverbank, Annacotty, shortly before 4am.
The three-storey property is being rented to three members of the UL Bohemians rugby squad, a club representative confirmed.
The three young men are said to be "devastated" after the tragedy.
The alarm was raised by one of the players who telephoned emergency services at 3.12am.
Two units attached to Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service attended the blaze at 3.20am.
When firefighters arrived they were met by the three players, and another woman.
However, it quickly became apparent the other woman was not with the others.
Firefighters using breathing apparatus bravely entered the burning house and located the woman's body in a bedroom on the second floor. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her body was later taken from the house to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem is due to be carried out.
Foul play is not suspected. However, gardai and fire authorities are continuing to investigate into the exact cause of the blaze.
Tony Quilty, PRO at UL Bohs, described the fatal incident as "an awful tragedy".
"All our thoughts are with the boys, and the young lady who died and her family," Mr Quilty said.
The young rugby players were too upset to speak.
Local Fine Gael councillor Marian Hurley said: "Everybody is rocked by it... it's so hard to take in.
"We've had a tragedy up the road, after a lovely lady in the prime of her life had a stroke a few days ago and her funeral was yesterday and she lived around the corner. So, we're a community in shock."
"All we know is that, around 3am, the alarm was raised, and a young woman (died) here and was taken to hospital. It's too much to take in."
"I want to sympathise with the woman's family and friends; a lovely young person taken in their prime, it's just too much to take."
Cllr Hurley, who visited the scene, added: "For something like this to happen just beggars belief. I just don't know what to say; We'd all like to be out enjoying the beautiful sunshine on the first of May, but this is a cloud over it, I'm afraid."
Gardai did not disclose the woman's identity and were trying to make contact with her family and all next of kin.
Gardai confirmed the fatal fire in a statement released by the Garda Press Office.
It added: "Gardaí and fire services attended the scene of a house fire at The Oaks, Riverbank, Annacotty at 3a.m. this morning Monday, 1st May, 2017."
"The fire was brought under control and the body of the woman, late 20s, was discovered in the house."
"Her body was removed to Limerick Regional Hospital where a post mortem examination will take place."
"There were four other people (three men and one woman) in the house at the time of the fire and they escaped uninjured."
"The scene is sealed off and a technical examination will take place later today."