A man in his 70s found dead in a house in Waterford last night may have been overcome by fumes from material he had been burning, writes Conor Kane.
A post-mortem is being carried out today on the body of the man who was found unconscious at his home at Connolly Place in Waterford city, shortly after 6pm.
Foul play is not suspected in relation to the death. It is believed he might have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Initial reports suggested there had been a gas leak but that was ruled out as a cause of death both by gardaí and by Gas Networks Ireland (GNI), whose personnel attended the scene yesterday evening.
Investigations were put in train by Waterford gardaí, the local fire service and GNI following the discovery of the man’s body.
“While the cause of the incident is unknown, we can confirm that it is not related to natural gas,” GNI said in a statement. “Gas Network Ireland attended on site and assisted the emergency services with their operations.”
A garda spokesman said investigators are “keeping an open mind” in relation to the cause of the man’s death, but that the outcome of the post-mortem examination, taking place today at University Hospital Waterford, will influence their thinking.
Asked about reports that the man may have been burning material in the house which could have caused toxic fumes, the garda said: “I wouldn’t rule it out. Fumes have to come from something.”
Gardaí have preserved the scene to allow a full technical examination be performed on the house. No other homes in the vicinity had to be evacuated as a result of the tragedy.
The man had been living alone in the single-storey terraced house, in this long-standing residential area of the city, for a long time.
Mayor of the Waterford Metropolitan District, Cllr Sean Reinhardt, visited the scene last night and pointed out that it was the second major incident to strike the city in 48 hours, following an explosion in a house on Ballytruckle Road which left a man with serious burns to his hands.
“Perhaps we need more awareness and some more checks just to make sure everyone is safe and sound where they live,” he told WLRFM.
Gardaí in Waterford are investigating after a man in his 70s died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.
Emergency services were called to the house in Connolly Place yesterday evening, where the man was later pronounced dead.
His body was removed to University Hospital Waterford for a post-mortem.
Gas Networks Ireland said that a team was sent to the scene, but no evidence of a natural gas leak was found.
Nobody else in the area was evacuated, and foul play is not suspected.