Damages for dead fireman's family

Joe McCloskey was killed fighting a hotel fire Joe McCloskey was killed fighting a hotel fire in 2003

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The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has agreed to pay "substantial damages" to the family of a Dungiven fireman killed on duty seven years ago.

Joe McCloskey died in a blaze at the Gorteen Hotel in Limavady on Halloween night 2003.

The 50-year-old died in a storeroom at the hotel, after the roof he was working on collapsed, dropping him into the flames below.

He suffered burns to 95% of his body.

Mr McCloskey's son Sean said his father and other firefighters should never have been put on the roof.

The Northern Ireland Fire Service did conduct an investigation after the death of the father of five.

However, it failed to establish who gave the order to Mr McCloskey to go onto the roof and nobody was ever disciplined.

"There were other methods of ventilating that fire which should have been seen by senior officers in charge," Sean McCloskey said.

"All the people had been evacuated out of the hotel and there was no immediate risk to life, therefore the men should not have been committed to the situation."

The damages were awarded after the family took a civil action against the Fire Service.

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