TRIBUTES are being paid to the elderly woman who died in a house fire in Limerick city centre last night.
Mary O’Brien (89) died from the effects of smoke inhalation after the fire broke out at her home at O’Curry Place at around 8pm.
Three units of the Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene of the blaze but the despite the best efforts of fireman, Ms O’Brien was pronounced dead at the scene.
A number of adjoining houses were evacuated as a precaution but residents have since been allowed to return home.
There were emotional scenes in the close-knit community this morning as friends, carers and neighbours tried to come to terms with the tragedy.
“She was a real lady, she was very friendly it’s hard to believe what happened - the place went up like a light,” neighbour Michael Graham told the Limerick Leader.
“I’m shocked, it is absolutely devastating, she was such a lovely woman and she will be missed,” said another neighbour Damien Doyle.
Ms O’Brien, who was originally from Patrickswell, was due to turn 90 in July. She is survived by her nieces and nephews.
While the scene of the house fire was techically examined by members of the divisional scenes of crime unit earlier today, foul play is not suspected.