Sunday 18 February 2018

Pensioner fighting for life after house fire in which his elderly wife perished

Police and forensics staff at the scene after an elderly woman died in a house fire at Silverhill Park in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh
Police and forensics staff at the scene after an elderly woman died in a house fire at Silverhill Park in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh

Laura Abernethy

An elderly woman died and her husband is fighting for his life after a house fire in Enniskillen on Sunday night.

The woman, named locally as Daphne Reid, died at her home in the Silverhill Park area.

Emergency services were called to the house at around midnight but Mrs Reid, who is believed to be in her late 60s, died in the fire before they arrived.

Her husband Franklin, who was also in the house at the time and is thought to be in his 70s, was rescued and taken to hospital where he was still said to be seriously ill yesterday.

Local DUP councillor Keith Elliott said that the retired couple are very well known in the Fermanagh area and many people have been shocked by the news.

He said: "Daphne's friends and neighbours are devastated. It's a very close knit neighbourhood.

"Everybody knows everyone out there. They are in shock that this has happened just beside them, especially just after Christmas. It's so hard for them. It's a tragedy.

"Mr Reid is seriously ill, but we hope that he will make a speedy recovery."

Mr Elliott, who is also a part-time firefighter, visited neighbours in the area outside the Co Fermanagh town yesterday.

He added: "I was at the scene this morning and when I was there, there was a fire investigation taking place. Obviously it will be some time before we hear the outcome of that.

"I'd like to pay tribute to the emergency services. It was a difficult situation, but they were able to bring the intense fire under control very quickly and make a rescue. They have to be commended for that."

Ulster Unionist MP Tom Elliott said: "I knew the lady that died in this tragedy and her wider family.

"This is a huge shock to the community where this family are very well known.

"It affects not only her immediate family but the wider family and the entire community, who have lost a friend and someone well known in the area.

"It is difficult for the family and wider community when such a tragedy strikes. My sympathies to them all at this time."

It is the second house fire tragedy to hit Enniskillen in the past month.

On December 3, John Brazil (57) died after a fire at his Drumbay Close home.

It is understood that the fire took hold in an upstairs bedroom where his body was discovered.

SDLP councillor Patricia Rogers said: "It's not that long ago that there was another house fire and again it's going to rock the local community. It's very traumatic at this time of year.

"Our hearts go out to the family and relatives of this lady."

Councillor Elliott added: "People were devastated to wake up this morning to hear that another person has gone in this way,"

Yesterday, Inspector John McKenna said: "Police received a report of a fire at the house shortly before midnight on Sunday, December 27.

"Emergency services attended but unfortunately the woman was found deceased at the scene.

"A man who had also been in the house at the time of the fire has been taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries.

"The fire is not being treated as suspicious at this time."

Belfast Telegraph

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