Tragic house blaze claims life of Mullingar woman

The woman who died in a house fire in Mullingar on Wednesday has been named locally as Noeleen McKenna (neé McCoy ).

Ms McKenna, who was 46 years old and from Mullingar, was found dead after a fire broke out in her home at O’Connell Terrace around 8pm on Wednesday evening.

The results of a postmortem, which took place at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar yesterday, have not yet been released; however, the death is not being treated as suspicious and a Garda forensic investigation confirmed yesterday that the fire started accidentally.

Neighbours left flowers at the boarded-up house yesterday morning as the news began to spread throughout the locality. Tragically, a sister of the deceased also lost her life in a house fire several years ago.

The blaze broke out at Ms McKenna’s home at 3 O’Connell Terrace, Mullingar, on Wednesday evening shortly after 8pm. Fire services and Gardai were alerted to the blaze at the two-storey house just before 8.30pm after a man out walking his dog spotted smoke and raised the alarm.

Two Mullingar fire units and local ambulance services responded to the call, while the Gardai also attended the scene, closed roads, and secured the area. On arrival, they witnessed black smoke coming from the front door and windows, and flames inside the house. The blaze was brought under control within a matter of minutes, and upon entering the house fire officers discovered the body of the woman.

The scene was preserved for technical examination, with Gardai remaining at the scene overnight. The scene was technically examined by the Garda Scenes of Crime unit yesterday morning; however Mullingar Gardai were treating the blaze as accidental and did not suspect foul play.

Ms McKenna lived alone and was the only person in the house at the time of the fire.

Assistant chief fire officer Ruth Holton reminded members of the public to ensure they take proper fire safety precautions in their homes.

“I would urge people to ensure they have at least one working smoke alarm in their home and to check it weekly, and to ensure all doors are closed at night,” she said.

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