Three dead in Roscommon fire

Fri, Sep 14, 2012, 01:00

A house in which three people were found dead in Roscommon town this morning had been vacant for some time, it has emerged.

The bodies of three men, thought to be in their 20s, were found in a room at the front of the house at St Ciarán's Park, at 7.30am.

Garda Supt Tom O’Connor, who is leading the investigation, said there was some evidence of  slight smoke damage inside the single story, semi-detatched house.

The front door was open when gardaí arrived but the door of the front room in which the bodies were found was locked and officers had to force entry.

It is understood the men were found slumped on separate chairs in the room.

A technical investigation is now under way to establish the extent of the smoke in the house and to try to establish how the men died.

While gardaí say the three men are believed to have been aged in their 20s, there was speculation locally that one of the men was in his forties and had come home from London some months ago. He had been living in the house for a few months, according to shocked local people who described him as "harmless".

It is understood the house had been vacant for some time.

Gardaí investigating the fire say toxicology reports will be crucial in determining the cause of the deaths.

State pathologist Dr Maire Cassidy arrived a the scene around noon and a postmortem has been carried out.

Gardaí said they are awaiting toxicology reports before a file is sent to the coroner.

Earlier, Supt O’Connor said the alarm was raised by a "concerned citizen living locally".

Local councillor Dominic Connolly said the town had been left devastated by the deaths. “It is all everyone in the town is talking about this morning,” said Mr Connolly.

“The details are still sketchy and we don’t know who the men were, but Roscommon is a very close-knit town so it won’t be long before we find out.”

Mr Connolly said he was “absolutely shocked” when he heard the news.

Roscommon Fire Service was called to the scene following reports of smoke at the house, but there was no fire or smoke to tackle, according to senior assistant chief fire officer Norbert Ferguson.

“There was no fire and no smoke when we got there,” said Mr Ferguson. “That doesn’t mean there hadn’t been earlier in the morning, but there was certainly no visible damage to the house."

The Mayor of Roscommon Cllr Tom Crosby who visited the scene describe d he deaths as a tragedy and extended sympathy to the families.

He said he understood two of the men had Rosocmmon connections.

The Mayor said the tragedy underlined the difficult lives being experienced by people who cannot find work, as well as the risk associated with the large numbers of vacant houses around the country.

“These derelict houses may seem like an opportunity to young people ,” he said.

One Garda source said there was no evidence that the men had been assaulted. he added that it appeared that at least one of the men had been squatting in the house.

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