Tributes paid to house fire victim

AN 83-year-old woman who died in a Glasgow house fire on Christmas Day was described as a "great and supportive friend".

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Police officers at the scene after the fire at the home in Hermiston Road, Springboig
Police officers at the scene after the fire at the home in Hermiston Road, Springboig

Mary MacConnell, of Hermiston Road, in Springboig, lost her life on Christmas evening after a blaze tore through her semi-detached home.

Firefighters found Miss MacConnell, who was in ill-health and had mobility problems, inside the house.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The church volunteer, who was a member of the MacConnell furniture family, had lived in the same semi for nearly 30 years and was a well-known face in the community until her strength began to fail in ­recent years.

Father John Campbell, formerly Miss MacConnell's priest at St Paul the Apostle Parish Church in Shettleston, had known the spinster for nearly a quarter of a century.

He said: "She was a kind and caring person. Until her own confinement to the house she looked after ­elderly neighbours.

"To those who were members of Saint Paul the Apostle Parish she took Holy Communion as an extraordinary minister.

"She had great and supportive friends because she was a great and supportive friend to all.

"She had a deep faith and a great attitude to life, even when faced with increasing disability she could always look on the bright side of life and always had time and energy to entertain friends at her home."

Neighbours said Miss MacConnell had continued to receive regular visitors over recent years and was a very caring person.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "She was the kind of person who was always on the ball.

"She hadn't been going out much recently but she was still very much on the ball. She was a really nice person and always had a kind word to say."

Another neighbour said: "Mary did a lot of work in the community and for her church and was always very busy until recently.

"She kept seeing friends, however, who were always visiting her. She was a very popular lady."

Miss MacConnell worked in her family's furniture business opposite the ­Theatre Royal in Glasgow city centre.

It is now a pub of the same name. A sister with whom she shared a home died some years ago and her only family are in Canada.

The first calls about the fire came in about 8.35pm on Christmas Day.

Fire investigators were at the house yesterday, sifting through charred furnishings and fittings trying to find out what had happened.

The fire and rescue service was yesterday also investigating another Christmas Day fire, at a flat in Allison Street, Govanhill.

This blaze, described as "substantial", caused the street to be cordoned off on Wednesday, after flames spread from a third-floor flat in to the roof space of a four-storey tenement.

However, there were no injuries. The flat is believed to have been empty.


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