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Fermanagh house fire claims second victim after Franklin Reid dies in hospital

By cate mccurry

Published 05/01/2016

The scene of the house fire at Silverhill Park, Enniskillen
The scene of the house fire at Silverhill Park, Enniskillen
The Belfast bungalow where Wilma Potts died in a blaze

A Fermanagh community has been plunged into sadness after a fire at a family home claimed a second victim.

Franklin Reid, who was in his 70s, died in hospital yesterday morning just days after his 66-year-old wife Daphne was buried following the blaze at their bungalow in Enniskillen.

Mr Reid was rushed to hospital following the inferno last Sunday.

His wife died in the fire before paramedics arrived.

Mr Reid remained in critical condition over the last week with friends and neighbours praying for his recovery. However, he died yesterday morning.

The couple, who didn't have any children, had lived in the area for 20 years and were well-known throughout the town.

DUP councillor Keith Elliott, who is a part-time firefighter, said the retired couple were popular in the Fermanagh area and the double death had left many people shocked.

He said: "Their friends and neighbours are devastated. It's a very close-knit neighbourhood.

"Daphne used to work in the local library while Franklin worked in Cathcart, a builder's merchants in the town.

"I know him from working in the yard where he used to drive a lorry. And although I knew him only through work, he was a very happy-go-lucky man.

"Every day that went past the whole community were hoping that he would make a recovery, and as the time went on we were positive, but it's terrible news.

"It's a tragic end to an awful incident. As the days went by and people talked it was like every day was a bonus and we hoped for a full recovery, but unfortunately that has not happened.

"Everyone was hopeful at Daphne's funeral, too."

Mr Reid's death came two days after the funeral of his wife at St John's Parish, Florencecourt, on Saturday, where there was a large attendance.

It is the second house fire tragedy to hit Enniskillen within a month.

On December 3 John Brazil (57) died after a blaze at his Drumbay Close home.

It is understood the fire took hold in an upstairs bedroom where his body was discovered.

SDLP councillor Patricia Rogers said: "It's not that long ago that there was another house fire and again it's going to rock the local community. It's very traumatic at this time of year." A PSNI spokeswoman said: "Police can confirm that a man aged in his 70s has died in hospital this morning. The man was admitted to hospital following a fire at a house in the Silverhill Park area in Enniskillen on Sunday, December 27.

"The fire is not being treated as suspicious."

The tragedy follows the death of a mother-of-three in south Belfast whose body was found alongside her beloved dogs on Sunday night.

Wilma Potts (51) lived in an end-of-terrace bungalow at Archdale Drive in the Belvoir estate, where her remains were found beside her Bichon Frise dogs Daisy and Bo.

It is understood the fire may have started in the kitchen. An investigation is being carried out into the cause of the tragedy.

Belfast Telegraph

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