Sunday 19 November 2017

Fumes blamed for deaths in fire

Elaine Keogh

TOXIC fumes from a burning sofa are believed to have claimed the lives of a mother and her young son.

The pair, who died following a fire in their Co Meath home, were named locally yesterday as Michelle Gilbert (28) and Jack (6).

Gardai say they are treating the deaths as "a tragic accident," and confirmed that their bodies were discovered in the same bedroom by firefighters called to the house in Navan on Saturday afternoon.

"This was a terrible accident, there was nothing untoward. It is a heart-breaking situation," said one garda.

Ms Gilbert's mother lived nearby in the town's Canterbrook estate. She was being comforted last night.

Preliminary investigations suggest that a small fire began in a sofa downstairs and that the smoke travelled upstairs.

Post-mortems are expected to confirm that they died of smoke inhalation.

A neighbour walking by the semi-detached house on Saturday noticed that the downstairs windows were blackened and alerted the authorities.

No flames were seen and it appears that all the damage was caused by smoke.

Irish Independent

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