The community of Elphin is to come together next Monday night following a fire that left two brothers homeless on Sunday night/Monday morning. Both men escaped uninjured in the blaze.
Fire extensively damaged the home of Padraig and Vivian McDermott, who reside at Clooneybrennan, Elphin on the Kiltrustan to Elphin road. The exact cause of the fire is not yet known.
The fire quickly spread as the slate roof of the dwelling covers a thatch roof. The fire was discovered shortly after midnight.
Units of Elphin and Strokestown Fire Brigade attended the scene and it took a number of hours to bring the fire under control. The house was extensively damaged and a large number of personal items were destroyed.
The local community has rallied around the McDermott family and has organised a meeting for Monday, January 13th at 7 p.m. in the Elphin Day Care Centre to determine how best residents can support the family.
Manager of the Elphin Day Care Centre Catherine McGrath is urging the local community to support the family at this difficult time. “Padraig is a wonderful support to us here at the centre. He drives our bus and delivers our meals on wheel’ service. Padraig is an outstanding servant of the local community and recently assisted in the erection of Elphin’s Christmas lights. Both Padraig and his brother Vivian are devastated by their loss. While both men have accommodation next door, their personal belongings have been destroyed.
“As organisers of the meeting here in the Day Care Centre, we are hoping a big crowd attends. Padraig and Vivian are both a wonderful support to the local community and we, in turn, want to support them at this difficult time,” said Catherine
Padraig McDermott told the Roscommon Herald that he first observed the fire as he was coming home from bingo in Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday night. “It was around midnight when I saw flames coming out through the roof. My brother Vivian was in the house at the time. He had heard noises but he didn’t know what was wrong. Luckily I was able to get him out of the house. It’s very upsetting,” said Padraig, adding: “I didn’t sleep overnight as a result. My brother is also very shook up by the whole event.”
“This was our family home. The house is about 300 years old and 10 of us were brought up there. The house will have to be extensively refurbished — parts of it are very badly damaged,” added Vivian.