The family of a “kind hearted and much loved” Magilligan man who died in a house fire have spoken of their devastating loss.
Willie Fleming, aged 57, died in a blaze at his Drumavalley bungalow on Monday night.
The death has numbed the tight-knit community of Magilligan, which is rallying to support the family.
As neighbours and friends paid their respects on Tuesday, Mr Fleming’s sister, Maureen McGonigle said the entire family was heartbroken.
“We were soul mates and I think he knew me better than anyone else,” Maureen told the ‘Journal’. “I would have seen him every day. It’s just so hard to believe he’s gone. It’s such a shock.”
Maureen said her younger brother, who lived just yards away from her, was “much loved” and would have done anything to help anyone.
“He never said a bad word about anyone,” she said, as she was comforted by family. “He was my best friend, and I’ll miss him so much.”
Mr Fleming’s brother, John said: “He was a great big brother and we got on the best. He was a very caring and loving brother. He was private, but he loved to have fun. We’ll all miss him.”
The family thanked the entire Magilligan community who have supported them.
“We’ve had great support,” said John. “That’s one thing Magilligan has. People have been first class.”
Maureen thanked the emergency services who battled the blaze, and the subsequent services which have been supporting them. She also paid tribute to those who tried to rescue her brother from the house.
“Everybody has been so good and we want to thank them,” said Maureen, who also praised Magilligan Parish Priest, Fr. Frank O’Hagan who she said had given the family tremendous support.