Gardaí treating fatal Co Monaghan house fire as suspicious

Neighbour tried to help the victim, man (61) with limited mobility, who was shouting for help

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to a fatal house fire in Carrickmacross on Monday, March 21st. File photograph: Frank Miller/ The Irish Times

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to a fatal house fire in Carrickmacross on Monday, March 21st. File photograph: Frank Miller/ The Irish Times

 

Gardaí are treating a house fire in Co Monaghan that killed a 61-year-old man, who had restricted mobility, as suspicious.

The incident happened at a semi-detached home at St Macartans Villas in Carrickmacross at about 1.30am on Monday.

The man, named locally as Gerry Marron, was pronounced dead at the scene. Supt Alan Cunningham said one neighbour had heard a “loud bang” in the early hours of the morning, and had looked outside to see smoke and fire coming from the house.

The neighbour ran across the road to try to help Mr Marron, who lived alone and was restricted in his walking and mobility since he was involved an traffic accident a few years ago.

“The door was slightly ajar. He could hear his neighbour inside, the deceased, shouting for help,” Supt Cunningham said. “He tried to go in but the flames were so ferocious and intense... he wasn’t able to get him out of the house.”

Fire brigades, ambulance services and the gardaí arrived to the scene shortly afterwards. Mr Marron was found lying in the hallway after being fatally injured.

Postmortem

His body was taken Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and a postmortem was carried out by Deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis. The results were passed to the investigation team.

Supt Cunningham said investigators believe the fire, which was mainly confined to the hallway and front side of the house, could have been started maliciously.

“We’ve done a full forensic and ballistic examination on the house for the last three days and as a result of that we’ve eliminated a number of things that could have accidently started the fire,” he said.

“While we can’t say definitively it was suspicious - our suspicions are it could have been at this stage.”

Supt Cunningham there had been developments in the investigation but he appealed for anyone who might have seen anything before or after the fire to contact Carrickmacross Garda station on (042) 9690190 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.