‘Dark atmosphere’ after Magilligan house fire tragedy

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The Parish Priest of Magilligan says a “dark atmosphere” hangs over the close-knit community in the wake of a fatal house fire overnight.

The victim, named locally as Willie Fleming, thought to be in his late 50s, happened around 10pm at Drumavally on Monday night.

TRAGEDY ....  The gutted remains of the bungalow in Magilligan where Willie Fleming died in an overnight fire.  (2301SJ01)

TRAGEDY .... The gutted remains of the bungalow in Magilligan where Willie Fleming died in an overnight fire. (2301SJ01)

Fr. Frank O’Hagan said Mr Fleming was well known and liked by everyone in the community.

“This is another awful tragedy for the parish, and in my 16 years here, we’ve had too many tragedies. Each one of us feels helpless right now, and words of comfort come very slowly,” Fr. O’Hagan told the ‘Journal’.

“It is an awful tragedy for the parish and it will take a while for us to get over it. It’s such a close knit community, like a family, and today a dark atmosphere hangs over us for the umpteenth time.

“Everyone is extremely sorry and our hearts go out to Willie’s family - his sisters Maureen and Anne and brother John. All we can do now is be there for them. There’s not much more we can do than that.”

Fr. O’Hagan also praised emergency services who worked at the scene of the blaze.