A group of Limerick rugby players were left "devastated" when a young woman perished at their home during a fire in the early hours of this morning, .
The body of the woman, aged in her late 20s, was discovered by firefighters searching inside the property at The Oaks, Riverbank, Annacotty, shortly before 4am.
The three-storey property is being rented to three members of the UL Bohemians rugby squad, a club representative confirmed.
The alarm was raised by one of the players who telephoned emergency services at 3.12am.
The players are "devastated" a number of sources said.
Two units attached to Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service attended the blaze at 3.20am.
When firefighters arrived they were met by the three players, and another woman.
However, it quickly became apparent the other woman was not with the others.
The deceased, along with the other woman, are believed to have socialising with the three rugby players and had being staying over at the property.
Firefighters using breathing apparatus bravely entered the burning house and located the woman's body in bedroom on the second floor.
Her body was later taken from the house to University Hospital Limerick where a post mortem is due to be carried out.
Foul play is not suspected, however gardai and fire authorities are continuing to investigate into the exact case of the blaze.
Tony Quilty, PRO, UL Bohs, described the fatal incident as "an awful tragedy".
"All our thoughts are with the boys, and the young lady who died and her family," Mr Quilty said.
The young rugby players were too upset to speak as they rallied around one another at the house earlier in the day.
The deceased' body suffered extensive burn injuries before she was discovered by emergency services.
Local Fine Gael councillor Marian Hurley said: "Everybody is rocked by it...It's so hard to take in."
"We've had a tragedy up the road, after a lovely lady in the prime of her life had a stoke a few days ago and her funeral was yesterday and she lived around the corner. So, we're a community in shock."
"I was in touch with the senior garda and he said it was under investigation but that he hadn't any further investigation to give out at that stage."
"All we know is that, around 3am, the alarm was raised, and a young woman (died) here and was taken to hospital. It's too much to take in."
"I want to sympathise with the woman's family and friends; a lovely young person taken in their prime, it's just too much to take."
Cllr Hurley, who visited the scene, added: "For something like this to happen just beggars belief. I just don't know what to say; We'd all like to be out enjoying the beautiful sunshine on the first of May, but this is a cloud over it, I'm afraid."
Gardai did not disclose the woman's identity and were trying to make contact with her family and all next of kin.
"A lot of these properties would have people renting and living and working in the area and there would be quiet a turnover of property," Cllr Hurley said.
"People wouldn't necessarily know their neighbours, especially (those) in their 20s; they'd be typically going to work everyday, coming back, recreating in the local park and so on...As yet, we don't know the identity of this poor and unfortunate girl."
She added: "I'm not speculating on the cause of the fire... but let's hope there's a message for all of us to make sure we make our houses safe and secure at night, and that we don't have electrical gadgets (left) on, or that we don't smoke or anything."
"I suppose there are pointers there for us all, that we need to be extremely careful when we go to bed and make sure all of our appliances are off in the kitchen etc. Very often we all like a snack at night, and you could easily turn on any electrical gadget and forget that you could have left something on the hob or whatever."
"That's all incidental to this incident, we certainly don't know yet the (cause). It's very sad."
Gardai confirmed the fatal fire in a statement released by the Garda Press Office.
It added: "Gardaí and fire services attended the scene of a house fire at The Oaks, Riverbank, Annacotty at 3am this morning Monday, 1st May, 2017."
"The fire was brought under control and the body of the woman, late 20s, was discovered in the house."
"Her body was removed to Limerick Regional Hospital where a post mortem examination will take place."
"There were four other people (thee men and one woman) in the house at the time of the fire and they escaped uninjured."
"The scene is sealed off and a technical examination will take place later today."
A woman has died following a house fire in Limerick in the early hours of this morning,
The woman, aged in her 20s, was discovered inside the house at Riverbank, Annacotty, by firefighters responding to the blaze at approximately 3.20am, Monday.
There were four other people (3 men and 1 woman) in the house at the time of the fire and they escaped uninjured.
Having arrived at the scene and receiving information the woman was missing, firefighters attached to Limerick City & County Fire Service commenced a search of the burning property, deploying two teams wearing breathing apparatus.
The woman's body was discovered in an upstairs bedroom. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
There are no reports of any other persons being injured.
Gardai are investigating the cause of the blaze, however at this stage no foul play is suspected.