There was wide spread shock across north Westmeath this week at the news of a fatal fire in Ballynacargy.
The Mullingar Fire Brigade was alerted to a fire in Jordanstown, Ballynacargy at 3.26am on Saturday morning, August 2. Noel Gunning (55 ) was the sole victim of the fire.
Speaking to the Advertiser, senior assistant chief fire officer at Westmeath County Council, Pat Hunt said, “We got the call at 3.26am and were at the house by 3.50am. Mullingar Fire Brigade were joined by a unit from Ballymahon.
“It was clear that the fire was well established when we arrived. The roof had already collapsed by the time we got to the house and there was one fatality.”
According to Mr Hunt the alarm was raised by Mr Gunning’s elderly mother, 82-year-old Mary Gunning.
“Mr Gunning’s mother had been asleep downstairs and managed to leave the house. She walked about a quarter of a mile in the pouring rain on an unlit road to get to her nearest neighbours to raise the alarm,” added Mr Hunt.
The two fire brigades were joined by two units of gardaí from Mullingar and an ambulance. The scene was cordoned off after the fire was extinguished at approximately 11.30am, after which gardaí sealed off the area for a forensic investigation.
Ms Gunning was rushed to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar for smoke inhalation treatmentand was admitted to intensive care on arrival.
Gardaí and fire authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. An autopsy on Mr Gunning is due to take place over the weekend.