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Mum and daughter die in house fires, only days apart

Tragedy struck a Drogheda family for the second time in less than a fortnight yesterday after the daughter of a woman killed in a house fire died in a second fire in the same house.

A second daughter who had also returned for her mother's funeral, which was due to have taken place today, was also in the house and is seriously ill in Drogheda General Hospital.

The dead daughter was named as Susan Krings, 34, whose mother Alicia Krings had been found dead in the front room of the house in Termon Abbey last Tuesday. It is believed Alicia Krings had died some days before her body was found.

She had last been seen by neighbours a week before her body was discovered. Neighbours said the daughters had returned from their homes in England and Germany for the funeral which was to have taken place today at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Only one room in the house was damaged in the fire which killed Alicia Krings, who was in her mid 60s, and the daughters had decided to stay in the house.

However, it is understood that the electricity supply to the house may have been cut off and that the women were using candles for light. But it is not known if this was the cause of the fire, which started shortly after midnight and gutted the home.

The name of the other daughter was not available yesterday, but she is believed to be in her 40s.

Both daughters had left Drogheda a number of years ago.

It was not clear yesterday what arrangements were being made for Alicia Krings' funeral or whether it may be delayed.

Parish priest Fr Martin Kenny, of Our Lady of Lourdes, said he had only learned of the second death yesterday afternoon.

He said: "The undertaker told me she is the daughter of the woman who was found in the house last week but I know nothing more than that."

Susan Krings' body was found in an upstairs room. The cause of the fire was unknown but it was confined to the one room and the rest of the house was undamaged.

A spokesman for Drogheda Fire Service said that when firefighters arrived at the scene of the first blaze, it had been virtually extinguished.

"We had minimal involvement at that stage. We checked the scene with the gardai as we do in these circumstances. They then stood down."

Gardai were called to the scene during the afternoon and found Alicia Krings' body.

Neighbours were mystified as none had seen any sign of a fire. One neighbour said: "I can't believe there was even a fire in the house. I saw the fire brigade arriving up and they seemed to just pop in and then they went off again. I didn't see any flames or obvious damage."

Sunday Independent