Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Woman unaware of family fire deaths

Angela Sharkey, who is critically ill in hospital after a fire, is unaware that her husband Thomas and their two children have died
Angela Sharkey, who is critically ill in hospital after a fire, is unaware that her husband Thomas and their two children have died

A woman left critically ill in hospital after a deliberate flat fire remains unaware that her husband and two children have died, police said.

Police revealed that 46-year-old Angela Sharkey's husband, Thomas Sharkey, 55, died in hospital on Saturday morning.

It follows the death of the couple's children, eight-year-old Bridget and Thomas, 21, after the blaze at their home in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, in the early hours of Sunday. Mr Sharkey was told of his children's deaths on Tuesday.

Strathclyde Police, who launched a murder investigation, have called on members of the local community to help them catch the triple killer.

Chief Inspector Fergus Byrne said: "I can confirm that earlier today, Thomas Sharkey (senior) sadly died at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. This is yet another devastating and heartbreaking blow for Mrs Sharkey, who at this time remains critically ill in hospital, unaware of the tragic loss of now her husband and children, Thomas and Bridget. The wider family and community will be horrified at the death of Tommy who was so well known throughout the town."

Mr Byrne said the community is "angry and fearful" and stressed that extra police officers will be deployed to the Helensburgh area for the foreseeable future.

He added: "We do however need to convert that anger into something positive and people who have information about this dreadful crime need to start talking directly to us and giving us the evidence we need to get justice for the family."

Emergency services were called to the fire at the flat in Scott Court at around 5.10am on Sunday. The blaze broke out in the living room and quickly spread. Police said the building had just one door and the family had been trapped.

Mr Sharkey had been seen hanging out of the window and shouting for help. His son was found dead at the scene. The rest of the family were taken by ambulance to Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire, where Bridget died a short time later.

DCI Anne McKerchar said police believe someone in the local area holds the key to solving the crime, saying: "It has been almost a week since the fire and once again, whilst we have been encouraged by the response from the public, we still need to get that vital piece of information that will help us catch whoever is responsible for this heinous crime. There is much rumour and conjecture in the town but what we need is hard facts."

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