Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Friday, 26 December 2008

Probe begins into fatal farm fire

Garda van

A forensics team is to begin examining the scene of a fatal Christmas morning fire in County Kilkenny later.

A woman in her 30s and her daughters, aged two and seven, died in the fire at an isolated farmhouse in the village of Roscon near Windgap.

Forensic officers had been unable to enter the house due to what were described as "safety concerns".

Gardai do not believe the blaze which was reported at around 0930 GMT on Christmas Day was started deliberately.

Superintendent Walter O'Sullivan said it was too early to say what caused the fire which had "all the hallmarks of an enormous tragedy".

"Three young people have lost their lives, two little children at a time when they should be celebrating Christmas Day and opening their presents, enjoying life on this day that we celebrate."

It is believed the woman and her two young daughters died from smoke inhalation.

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