Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Couple and daughter die in fire

The fatal blaze broke out at a house in Lisnabrack, in Co Leitrim

A rural community has been left numb after three members of a family died in a blaze.

Pensioners Desmond and Patsie McDonald and their 34-year-old daughter Patricia perished when the fire ripped through their home in Co Leitrim.

The grim discovery was made at the house in Lisnabrack, about 3km north-west of Manorhamilton, by firefighters at about 2am on Saturday.

Prayers were said for the family at a mass services in churches across the area.

Parish priest, Fr Oliver Kelly, said he saw Mr McDonald as recently as last week when the Sam Maguire cup was brought to a local supermarket.

"We are all devastated at what happened," he said. "It's a terrible tragedy. People couldn't believe it this morning. It's terrible."

It is understood Patricia had recently returned from living in America and moved in with her parents. She has two sisters, one in Mayo and another in the USA, and the McDonald's have a large extended family in the area.

The remains of Mr McDonald, 75, and his 77-year-old wife, and their daughter have been taken to Sligo General Hospital for a post mortem examination.

Forensic investigations are ongoing to establish the cause of the fire, which is not believed to be suspicious.

Local Independent Councillor, Sean McSharry, said it was a tragedy for the area. Cllr McSharry said: "It's devastating, such a shock for the whole community. Everybody in the area is numb. It's an awful tragedy to happen at any time of the year, but in the run up to Christmas is awful. My thoughts and sympathies are with their family and friends."

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