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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 November, 2003, 19:09 GMT
Firefighter dies following blaze
The fire erupted in a rear storeroom
The fire erupted in a rear storeroom
A firefighter who was critically injured tackling a blaze at a County Londonderry hotel has died in hospital.

Father-of-five Joe McCloskey, 50, suffered extensive burns after falling through the roof of a storeroom at the back of the Gorteen House Hotel in Limavady on Saturday.

The Dungiven man was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry but died on Sunday afternoon.

Five of his colleagues sustained minor injuries trying to rescue him from the fire.

The police said forensic tests were being carried out to establish the cause of the blaze, which is thought to have started in the rear storeroom at about 0200 GMT.

Northern Ireland's Chief Fire Officer Colin Lammey said that all the staff in the brigade were devastated by the news.

Chief Fire Officer Colin Lammey: Brigade launched full inquiry
Chief Fire Officer Colin Lammey: Brigade "devastated" by death

He said his thoughts and prayers were with the family of Mr McCloskey.

"It's hard to find appropriate words at such a sad time," he said.

"My thoughts are with Joe's family, friends, his colleagues and the community that he served.

"We are all mourning this sad and tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Mr McCloskey had served for 25 years in the Fire Brigade.

BBC NI's Maryann Maguire reports
"The fireman who's critically ill is being treated for extensive burns to the body"

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