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'Awful tragedy' as two men are killed in house blaze

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Kind: Tributes were paid to victim Martin ‘Biggy’ Reilly

Kind: Tributes were paid to victim Martin ‘Biggy’ Reilly

Kind: Tributes were paid to victim Martin ‘Biggy’ Reilly

A town has been left in shock after two men died in a house fire in Co Meath.

Locals in Kells are saddened after the men, named locally as John 'Boy' Power (44) and Martin 'Biggy' Reilly (52), tragically lost their lives in the blaze.

Gardaí and emergency services were called to the scene of the fire at Blackthorn Close in Kells at around 3am yesterday.

The two were pronounced dead at the scene and are believed to have died from smoke inhalation.

Two other occupants, a man and a woman, escaped and were not injured.

Mr Power and the man who escaped from the house were both from Navan and did not live in the house. Mr Reilly and the woman who escaped are both from Kells.

Gardaí are investigating the circumstances of the incident and the house was sealed off for investigation.

The house showed little sign of external damage from the blaze.

Sinn Féin TD Darren O'Rourke described the incident as an "awful tragedy".

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who are involved. It's a very difficult time for them and the community," he told the Irish Independent.

"Our deepest sympathies are extended as it seems to be a tragic incident that has taken the lives of two men."

Fianna Fáil councillor Mike Bray said the deaths were a "massive blow" to Kells.

"To see two deaths in such tragic circumstances - our sympathies go out to the families and the neighbours in the area" he said.

"People are just shocked waking up this morning."

Kells Athletics Club paid tribute to"true gentleman" Mr Reilly.

"Our sincere condolences to our club members Aoife and Ann-Maire and the rest of the Reilly, O'Connell family at this tragic time.

"Biggy will fondly be remembered for his kindness and generosity to many people in Kells.

"He always had a smile on his face and he would never pass ya."

Irish Independent