Monday 18 December 2017

Man found dead in house is fifth victim of spate of fires

Cormac McQuinn and Ciaran Murphy

A MAN has died following a blaze in Waterford city – the fifth victim of house fires in the space of three days.

Emergency services found the body of 51-year-old Gerry Walsh on the floor in the front room of the property

It is understood that a family member raised the alarm after becoming concerned about him.

Waterford City Fire Brigade arrived at the scene of the fire at the council house in Roanmore Park at about 5pm on Monday and found Mr Walsh's body.

The remains were taken to Waterford Regional Hospital for a post-mortem to be carried out by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabber

The scene was sealed off yesterday as gardai conducted a technical examination.

Gardai said they were satisfied that Mr Walsh's death was accidental.

Supt Chris Delaney said they were satisfied "that a third party was not involved".

A local man said that a family member raised the alarm after they "missed Mr Walsh and became concerned for him".

It is the latest in a spate of fatal fires in the last few days.

Timothy Arnold (74), a retired antiques dealer from Rathcormac, Co Cork, perished on Sunday night when a blaze broke out in his two-storey house.

Mr Arnold was found in a downstairs room, having been overcome by smoke and fumes.

And an elderly couple and their daughter died after a fire swept through their home outside Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Dessie McDonald (75), his wife Patsy (77) and their daughter Patricia (34) perished in the blaze that gutted their home in the small rural community of Lisnabrack. The same morning a 30-year-old man was saved from another house fire in Cork city after passers-by saw smoke coming from the property and called the local emergency services.

The fire services have warned homeowners to be especially vigilant with Christmas lights, candles and decorations over the coming weeks.

Irish Independent

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