An open verdict was recorded into the death of a Castlebar man who died in an apartment fire in the town centre last April.
Colin Gillespie (33) died from carbon monoxide poisoning when a fire broke out in his apartment on Rush Street in Castlebar on April 13 last. The fire was reported at 4.20pm when the fire alarm went off in the apartment above Flynn’s pub. Mr Gillespie’s body was found on his bed by the fire service.
Seán Heneghan of the Fire Service in Castlebar told the inquest that there was heavy smoke in the apartment and that there was a fire in the kitchen. He said the Fire Service extinguished the fire and took Mr Gillespie from the apartment, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Heneghan said that from what the firemen saw, the fire appeared to have started on a chair in the kitchen area, as this was the most burnt-out piece of furniture.
Dr Fadel Bennani, who performed the postmortem, said the levels of carbon monoxide in Mr Gillespie’s blood was lethal. He added that the alcohol level was also high, but results were negative for drug abuse.
He said the cause of death was asphyxia due to carbon monoxide inhalation, with alcohol a contributing factor.
This was the second tragedy to befall the Gillespie family, whose other son, Darragh, died in 2008. Coroner Mr John O’Dwyer expressed his sympathy to the family on their loss.
He said they did not have all the information regarding the death and recorded an open verdict.