Man and woman who died in Dublin house fire named locally

‘The smoke came right down the road,’ neighbour in Portmarnock says of Saturday night blaze

 The scene of a house fire in Beach Park, Portmarnock, Co Dublin, where two people died. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The scene of a house fire in Beach Park, Portmarnock, Co Dublin, where two people died. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

A man and a woman in their late 60s died in a house fire in Portmarnock on Saturday night.

They have been named locally at Michael and Beatrice Hurley. They had lived in the house in Beach Park for around four decades and their children were raised there.

Dublin Fire Brigade was called to the blaze at 9.45pm on Saturday while gardaí said they were alerted at around 10.30pm.

Locals living in the estate described how the surrounding streets filled with smoke while flames billowed out the windows of the house.

The fire was eventually brought under control by fire brigade crew who used breathing apparatus to fight the blaze and the bodies of a man and woman were found inside the house. The couple was pronounced dead a short time later.

Their bodies remained at the scene overnight and were removed by ambulance shortly after 1.30pm on Sunday. They were taken to the Dublin City Mortuary where a postmortem was due to be conducted by the State Pathologist.

The results of the postmortem and a technical examination of the scene will determine the course of the Garda investigation.

The man and woman were the only people in the house at the time of the blaze. The surrounding properties did not appear to have been damaged in the fire.

One neighbour who has lived in the area since the mid-1980s said the whole area was in shock and got upset when asked how it felt to witness the fire on Saturday night. “The smoke came right down the road,” he said.

One man, who lives on the adjoining street, said he could see the flames and smoke “belching out” from the house from his own upstairs window. “It’s very sad for everyone involved, “ he said.

Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal, who visited the scene, said “it’s really sad at any time of the year but it is especially sad at Christmas”.

Ms O’Reilly said the community was “united in offering support” to the family at this time.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses of the fire. Anyone with information is asked to contact Malahide Garda station on 01-6664600, the Garda confidential line 1800-666111 or any Garda station.