Cause of fatal Donegal house fire still a mystery

Gardaí are still trying to uncover the circumstances surrounding the death of a Co Donegal businessman in a house fire in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Optician Jeffrey McLaughlin, who was 42, was found dead outside a house at Malin Head.

The father-of-three, was from Carndonagh on the Inishowen Peninsula, but lived in Derry.

He was a well-known member of the local sub-aqua club.

The fire was first spotted at the house in the townland of Carnmalin just after midnight.

Fire tenders from both Carndonagh and Buncrana Fire Station rushed to the scene.

However, Mr McLaughlin’s body was found outside a period later.

Specialist Garda forensic officers from Dublin arrived at the scene yesterday to carry out a full investigation into the cause of the fire.

Locals have reported hearing a loud explosion around midnight.

The house was badly damaged in the fire, with the roof and masonry completely destroyed.

One theory is that gas canisters used by Mr McLaughlin during his diving pastime may have exploded.

The State Pathologist was due to arrive on the scene yesterday to carry out a full postmortem.

Specialist forensic officers could be seen sifting through the wreckage of the blaze yesterday.

Meanwhile, gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information on the fire.

They are particularly interested in talking to anybody who was in the Carnmalin/Malin Head area between the hours of 8pm and midnight on Friday, October 31, 2014, to contact them at Buncrana Garda Station on 074 9320540, or on the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any Garda station.


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