Tributes as pensioner dies in house blaze
Tributes have been paid to an elderly woman who was killed in a house fire in Dublin.
Emergency services were called to the scene of the fire at Ventry Park in Cabra West at about 3.40am yesterday.
Three fire appliances, an emergency tender, a Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance and a senior officer attended the scene after the alarm was raised by neighbours.
The elderly woman, who lived alone in the house, was named locally as Mary Reynell, a widowed mother with grown up children.
She was taken from the house by fire crews after being pronounced dead at the scene.
It is thought Mrs Reynell was asleep in a downstairs room of the house when the fire took hold.
She is believed to have been 88 years old, and had lived in Cabra for decades.
The blaze was brought under control by Dublin Fire Brigade shortly after 5am.
Gardaí and fire officers will examine the scene to find the cause of the blaze.
The fire is believed to have been accidental, but the cause of the blaze will be fully investigated.
There was heavy smoke damage and charring to the living room of the house, which is where the fire may have started.
A charred internal door from the house could also be seen in the front garden after it was removed by fire crews.
While the remainder of the house was affected by smoke, the flames are not believed to have spread to the upstairs of the property.
A neighbour said she was woken in the middle of the night by the smell of smoke and by the sound of an alarm ringing.
"I looked out the window and I could see smoke, and I rang the fire brigade straight away.
"It's terribly sad," she told the Irish Independent.
A local resident said the community is shocked and heartbroken at the news of Mrs Reynell's death.
"She was a lovely, kind woman and she lived there on her own," the neighbour said.
"Her husband died many years ago.
"She has two grown-up sons. Mary wasn't great on her feet and she slept downstairs."
Mrs Reynell used to visit neighbours regularly when her health was better.
But recently, as her health deteriorated, the close-knit community would drop in on her and make themselves available to her as needed.
Meanwhile, a pensioner is in critical condition in hospital after a fire broke out at a house in Waterford City in the early hours of New Year's morning.
The man was taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation after the blaze in the house on St Herblain Park in Kilcohan.
He was visiting a couple when the fire broke out.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but it is believed to be accidental.