Downpatrick house fire: Tributes paid after father-of-one loses life
A community is in shock after a father-of-one died in a house fire in Co Down.
The Northern Ireland Fire Service were called to the blaze at Cathedral View in Downpatrick at around 6pm last night. The Ambulance Service also attended the scene after receiving a call at around 5.50pm.
The man has been described as a popular neighbour who is understood to leave behind a wife and daughter.
The community are in shock at news of the death of the man described as a "friendly and popular man".
Sinn Fein MLA Chris Hazzard told the Belfast Telegraph: "A gentleman has been killed in a house fire. He was a husband and father of one, it's tragic for the family.
"I've been able to speak to one of the neighbours who was able to say he was a very friendly and popular man."
"The wider community is in shock. We have actually had a run of bad news in situations like this over the past couple of years in south Down.
"But I'm confident the Downpatrick community will rally around the family, it is terrible news to have to deal with. A daughter has lost her father, a wife has lost her husband and the residents of Cathedral View have lost a very popular neighbour.
"My thoughts go out to family and friends at this time."
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie expressed her condolences to family and friends.
She said: "It is with a deep sense of sadness that I learnt of the tragic death of a man in Cathedral View in Downpatrick last evening as a result of a house fire.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the man who lost his life; his family and friends. They must be suffering from immeasurable grief at this time of grave sorrow.
"My deepest sympathies to the bereaved in their sad loss. The people of Downpatrick will stand shoulder to shoulder as a symbol of support and solidarity with the family of this man who lost his life in the days, weeks and months to come".
SDLP councillor Colin McGrath added: "It's a very tragic event. The community is just in shock at getting the news and they will hopefully rally around and support the family where they can at this very difficult time for them."