Funeral to take place of Toome fire victim

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The funeral for a lorry driver who died after a house fire at Toome is due to take place tomorrow morning.

Kevin Laverty, who was in his 50s, passed away following the blaze on Carlane Road around 8.15pm on Wednesday.

His remains will leave his brother Gerard's residence on the Ballynamullan Road, Toome, at 9.45am to Sacred Heart Church, Cargin for 10.30am Mass.

Burial will follow in the adjoining cemetery.

His brother, Gerard, is chairman of Erin’s Own Gaelic Athletic Club in Cargin.

A spokesperson for the club said: “It is with great sadness that we learned last night of the tragic death of Kevin Laverty, brother of our chairman Gerard.

“Sincere condolences to the entire Laverty family at this difficult time.”

Friends of Mr Laverty took to social media to pass on their condolences.

“An absolute character, will be sadly missed,” one friend wrote.

Another said: “Another good man taken too soon. Thoughts and prayers to all the Laverty family.”

Kevin Laverty is described in a family notice as the “dearly beloved son of the late James and Isabel and brother of Rosemary (O’Kane), Donald, Eamon, Gerard, Terence and the late John and Brendan.”

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rrescue Service said firefighters met intense heat and heavily smoke-logged conditions at the two-storey detached farmhouse.

Four firefighters sustained burns, while a fifth suffered a concussion as a result of falling debris. The cause of the blaze is being investigated.