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Omagh 'devastated' by fatal blaze 14.11.07

FIREFIGHTERS in Omagh will resume their search this morning of the burnt-out house where an entire family died in what was the North's worst domestic fire.
The McElhill family in happier times. Five bodies were found yesterday in the debris of the house in Lammy Crescent in the County Tyrone town. It is understood the bodies were that of two adults and three children.
Arthur McElhill, his partner Lorraine McGovern and their five children, are all believed to have perished in the blaze.
The eldest of the five children,
Caroline, 13, attended the nearby Sacred Heart College. The other four children were Sean, 7, Bellina, 4, Clodagh, 19 months and James, who was just nine months old.
Deputy chief fire officer Louis Jones said the five bodies were discovered in an upstairs bedrooms.
"There are two further persons unaccounted for at this stage and our investigations are ongoing," he said.
The search was scaled down last night on the advice of the police who have launched an investigation into the tragedy.
Many local emergency services personnel said it was the most devastating incident they had attended since the Omagh bomb atrocity nearly ten years ago.
Among those who visited the scene yesterday was Dr. Josephine Deehan, a SDLP member of Omagh District Council. Dr. Deehan, a GP who has family members in Greencastle and who is a regular visitor to Inishowen, said the community in Omagh was "stunned" by the immensity of the tragedy.
Dr. Josephine Deehan.
"The mood in Omagh is very sombre. It's a tragedy of unparalleled proportions, a family wiped out in the most traumatic of circumstances.
"Neighbours are standing round in small groups, some of them in tears," she said.
Parish priest Monsignor Joseph Donnelly. Parish priest Monsignor Joseph Donnelly, who is a former parish priest of Muff, said there was "disbelief and shock" in the close-knit community.
"We can hardly find the words to describe what has happened. It's hard to come to terms with the tragedy - that a family that was alive and well this time yesterday is now gone," he said.
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