Glasgow & West Scotland

Helensburgh fire murder family 'devastated and angry'

The aunt of a man and young girl who were killed in a deliberate house fire has said the family has been left "shattered, devastated and angry".

Margaret McKechnie's statement came four days after her nephew Thomas Sharkey, 21, and eight-year-old niece Bridget died in the Helensburgh blaze.

Ms McKechnie's sister, Angela Sharkey, 46, and her husband Thomas Snr, 55, were seriously injured in the fire.

Police are treating the case as a murder investigation.

Ms McKechnie read a statement at Helensburgh police office on Thursday.

'Tragic' death

It said: "The entire family have been left shattered, devastated and now angry by the deaths of our darling Bridget and Thomas.

"Golf was Thomas' life, and all his family and friends aspired to be as good as he was. His smile lit up every room and he always found the best in everyone he met.

Image caption The deaths of eight-year-old Bridget and 21-year-old Thomas Sharkey are being treated as murder

"We always thought he would be famous for his golf and not for the tragic way he died.

"Bridget was a bubbly, cheeky and extremely popular girl who loved dancing and going to Brownies.

"In her short life she touched so many people's hearts and we will all miss her so much and Angela has lost her best friend.

"The whole family had some precious final days together when they travelled to Florida for a holiday.

"Thomas and Angela had never seen their wonderful children so happy as the day they both swam with dolphins.

"Thomas now has the difficult job of introducing Bridget to her two grans who are now looking after them in heaven.

"We would like to thank everyone for the messages of condolence and support.

"Thank you all for your help and please keep doing everything you can to help the police to find those responsible."

The fire at the Sharkey family home in Helensburgh's Scott Court broke out at about 05:00 on Sunday.

Thomas Sharkey Jnr died in the blaze, while his sister Bridget died later in hospital.

Their parents, Angela and Thomas, remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

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