Northern Ireland

Derrylin fire: Police investigate 'report of fourth victim'

Fire Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Two fire engines from Lisnaskea and one from Enniskillen helped put out the fire

Police have said they are investigating "reports of a fourth victim" as a result of a house fire in Derrylin, County Fermanagh.

Police said they are working "intensively" to establish the number of people who died.

It's understood at least two adults and a child were in the house in the Molly Road area on Tuesday.

PSNI Det Insp Peter McKenna said work to identify the victims would take a "number of days".

He added that officers were dealing with a "very complex crime scene".

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Media captionPSNI Det Insp Peter McKenna said the fire left a 'very complex crime scene'

'Appalling incident'

"I am aware of local information about a family living in this property and reports of a fourth victim," he added.

"At this stage we are still working intensively to establish how many victims were involved in this appalling incident.

"This will take a number of days due to the structural damage caused by the fire which is further compounded by the severe weather that is forecast."

Det Insp McKenna added: "The specialist officers will ensure that the bodies of all persons identified are recovered in a dignified manner.

"Post mortem examinations will then follow and this will assist me in confirming the identity of the victims."

A 27-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of murder remains in hospital under police guard.

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Media captionLandlord Tommy Fee tried to save the victims

The victims are believed to have been members of the same family and it's understood that at least one of those who died was a child.

It's thought that the people who lived in the house were originally from England.

The landlord of the property has told BBC News NI how he tried to rescue the family but it was simply too late.

Tommy Fee smashed in a door and windows but said he was beaten back by the smoke and flames.

Image copyright Mal McCann
Image caption Firefighters at the scene of the blaze

Police officers were called to the house on Molly Road at about 07:20 GMT.

They have again appealed for anyone travelling through Derrylin between midnight and 07:20 on Tuesday to get in touch.

Firefighters had said they were called to a "well-developed fire in a detached bungalow" near the border with the Irish Republic before 07:15 on Tuesday.

Two fire engines from Lisnaskea and one from Enniskillen attended the incident and the fire was extinguished.

Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Féin MP for the area, said the neighbours who made rescue attempts had undergone a horrendous ordeal.

"They are badly shaken. They weren't able to get into the house," she said.

Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster, the MLA for Fermanagh South Tyrone, said her "thoughts and prayers are with the family and local community".

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