The scene after the fire at Joe Fagan's home in Rosemount.

95-year-old's escape after fire guts his South Westmeath home

One of the oldest residents in the Westmeath village of Rosemount had a very lucky escape early last week when his house was completely gutted by fire.

While 95-year old Joe Fagan has lost a lifetime of possessions and memorabilia in the devastating blaze that destroyed his home on Tuesday night of last week, February 9, he escaped “safe and sound” according to his son, Gerry, who lives next door with his wife, Geraldine, and family.

“It’s all thanks to my daughter, Louise, who was getting ready to go to bed at around 11.30pm when she looked out the kitchen window and noticed flames next door,” recalls Gerry.

Athlone Fire Service personnel on the scene.

The alarm was raised and Athlone Fire Service were on the scene very quickly and battled hard to bring the fire under control until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“Daddy was fast asleep in bed when we raised the alarm, so the whole thing was a terrifying experience for all of us, but thank God he is safe and sound and hasn’t been left too traumatised,” says Gerry.

Joe Fagan lost his wife, Rita, in 2001, and has been living alone in the family home since then. “He gets looked after to the best,” says his son, Gerry “and even though the house has been completely gutted and we were all very traumatised, and still are, you can replace four walls but you can’t replace a life.”