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Homeless man killed by blaze at church

GARDAI in Co Wicklow are investigating the cause of a fire on a church grounds in which one man was killed in an early morning blaze.

A prefab building located behind Bray's Christ Church was completely gutted after the blaze broke out just after 3am yesterday morning.

It is understood that the victim was in his twenties. He was sleeping in the building when the blaze broke out.

Gardai at the scene said that the victim was recently made homeless and used the building regularly as a squatting place. The prefab was one of four behind the church and was completely engulfed by the flames.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis carried out a forensic examination at the site on the Church Road.

The victim's body was removed shortly after 2pm and brought to Loughlinstown Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Reverend of Christ Church Baden Stanley said his thoughts were with the victim's family.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the man's family on this very sad and tragic day," he said.

A reflection service will be held at the church at 8pm tonight.

Local councillor John Brady described the incident as "a tragic episode" and praised the quick action of the local firemen in ensuring the blaze did not spread to adjoining prefabs.

A garda spokesperson said that they are following an open line of inquiry.