'Terrible tragedy' as gardaí investigate death of couple in Roscommon house fire

Gardaí are awaiting the outcome of post mortem examinations and a technical examination of the house where they died
'Terrible tragedy' as gardaí investigate death of couple in Roscommon house fire

Investigating gardaí have preserved the scene as they work towards establishing the cause of the blaze. Picture: Hany Marzouk

Gardai investigating the death of a couple in an overnight fire in south Roscommon are awaiting the outcome of post mortem examinations and a technical examination of the house where they died before deciding what course of action to take.

Gardai in Clonark and Roscommonhave appealed for witnesses after the couple died in a blaze at their dormer house at Gurth near Rooty Cross, about 13km east of Ballinasloe.

A 44-year old woman and a man, also in his mid-40s, died in the fire. Both are from the area and their deaths have shocked the local community.

The alarm was raised around 2am this morning and three units of the fire brigade from Ballinasloe and Athlone rushed to the scene and brought the fire under control.

The bodies of the couple were discovered inside the house which is located on a rural road, a short distance from the M6 Galway-Dublin motorway. The man and woman were pronounced dead at the scene.

 Four units of fire brigade attended the house fire near Rooty Cross. Picture: Hany Marzouk
Four units of fire brigade attended the house fire near Rooty Cross. Picture: Hany Marzouk

Extensive damage was caused to the roof of the dwelling. The scene was preserved and the road closed for a Garda technical examination.

The bodies of the man and woman have been removed to University College Hospital in Galway for post mortem examinations.

Gardai said that they are examining all of the circumstances surrounding the double tragedy and that the course of their investigation will be determined by the post mortem results and the technical examination of the scene.

State Pathologist Margaret Bolster has been informed.

The deaths of the couple, who were well known and who have family members living in the locality, has shocked the local community.

The parish priest of Moore, Fr Michael Molloy, said that the man and woman were well known in the area.

“It’s a terrible shock to the people, a terrible tragedy for the families involved and the shockwaves are spreading through the community,” he said.

“It’s a close-knit community and the families are well known and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time.”

It is not yet clear what caused the blaze. Picture: Hany Marzouk
It is not yet clear what caused the blaze. Picture: Hany Marzouk

Witnesses or anyone else who might have information on this fire has been asked to contact the Roscommon Garda Station on 090 6437102, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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