Thursday 24 January 2019

Man (47) killed in building fire 'was sleeping rough'

The scene of the blaze in which the homeless man died
The scene of the blaze in which the homeless man died

David Raleigh

A man died after a fire broke out in the derelict building where he was sleeping. Gardaí have described the death of the 47-year-old man in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, as a "tragedy" and are not treating it as suspicious.

The victim is a native of Eastern Europe. His body was found by firefighters in a disused premises on Kenyon Street in the town yesterday morning.

A second man who was in the building at the time managed to escape the blaze. He was being treated at University Hospital Limerick for minor injuries.

A taxi driver passing the premises alerted emergency services after seeing smoke coming from the first floor.

Three fire tenders from Nenagh and Cloughjordan finally put out the fire after fighting the blaze for 12 hours.

Firefighters discovered the victim's body after entering the building, which had previously operated as a pub.

A Garda spokesman said: "A fire was reported at 1.05am at Kenyon Street, Nenagh. Two males were thought (to be) staying at the premises.

"One male was removed to Limerick hospital with minor injuries. The other male (aged in his 40s) is deceased and was removed to Limerick hospital for a post-mortem today."

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. However, a Garda spokesman said they did not suspect foul play.

According to sources, the victim had been "sleeping rough", despite having stayed at an address in the town at an earlier stage.

It was unclear if the man was recorded as officially homeless. Gardaí are still trying to confirm his identity and make contact with any relatives.

"I would describe him as a poor, unfortunate man, who either came over to Ireland living like this or who ended up in that lifestyle," a source said.


Local publican Breda McMahon, who lives across the street from where the fire broke out, said: "It's an awful shock to the community, it's very sad."

Ms McMahon said the building where the fire broke out had been derelict for the past number of years.

"I'm sure that man has a mother and a father and a family somewhere.

"We're all deeply affected by it, especially because it has happened at (Christmas)."

Irish Independent

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