Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Woman relives family blaze horror

Angela Sharkey said she had 'no idea' who was responsible for starting the fire which killed her husband and children
Bridget Sharkey died in a blaze at her home in Helensburgh last month (Strathclyde Police/PA)
Bridget Sharkey, eight, and her 21-year-old brother Thomas died in a blaze at their family home in July

A woman who lost her husband and two children in a deliberate blaze at their home has told of the moment she realised her family had been wiped out.

Angela Sharkey, 46, was speaking for the first time since the fire which killed her 21-year-old son Thomas and eight-year-old daughter Bridget.

Mrs Sharkey's husband, Thomas Snr, 55, died in hospital six days after the fire at their home in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, last month. Police are treating all three deaths as murder.

Her voice breaking with emotion, Mrs Sharkey said she had "no idea" who was responsible for starting the fire, or why, adding: "If I had any idea about anything - a reason, a motive - I would say, because the three things I loved the most about my life are dead."

Mrs Sharkey, who was released from hospital on Monday, appealed to anyone with information about her family's deaths to come forward.

She told how she did not believe her sister Margaret when she tried to tell her that her family had been killed.

Mrs Sharkey said that despite her devastating loss, she is determined to carry on, saying: "I've got two options - I can either lie down and fall to bits, or I can just try and get on with it. I am a coper. I'm not going to lie down because I haven't done anything wrong and, as far as I know, Tommy had never done anything wrong to deserve this. It's shocking.

"I want to go back to my work and get on with my life. It'll be a totally different life. Maybe whoever did it wants me to lie down and die. I was obviously meant to die as well but that didn't happen, for whatever reason."

Strathclyde Police said they are trying to trace two men they believe could hold "critical" information relating to the fire.

Detective Superintendent Peter McPike said police want to speak to a man, aged in his 20s or 30s, who was in John Street, Helensburgh, and another man, aged in his 20s, who was seen in the town's West Princes Street around the time the fire was discovered. He said they are also trying to trace a small blue car, perhaps a Renault Clio, seen locally at the time of the blaze.

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