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Tributes to devoted mother killed in house fire

(Clockwise from right) Jennifer Dornan, who died in a fire at her west Belfast home, a mourner leaves flowers at the scene of the blaze and the damage to Ms Dornan's home
Andrea McKernon

FAMILY, friends and neighbours have paid heartfelt tributes to a mother-of-three who died in a house fire in west Belfast.

Jennifer Dornan (30) perished in the blaze at her home in Hazel View, Lagmore, early on Sunday.

A passing taxi driver raised the alarm but it was too late to save Ms Dornan.

Such was the intensity of the fire, which is believed to have started in Ms Dornan's bedroom, that the roof of the property was completely destroyed and the glass blown out of windows.

As firefighters and forensic officers began their investigation into the cause of the blaze, friends and family gathered to pay their respects to Ms Dornan as they waited for her remains to be removed.

"We'll stand here in the rain for as long as it takes, but we will be here when Jennifer's body is taken out," said one friend.

"We need to be with her. She would do the same for us."

Her uncle Joe Donnelly said she had "lived for her kids", who are aged eight, five and three, and remembered her as having a "big heart".

"She was bubbly and bright and she always lived life to the full," he said.

Ms Dornan had enjoyed a night out on Saturday. "Thank God the children weren't staying with her or they might have died too," said Mr Donnelly.

He said his niece sometimes smoked and would often light candles in her home, in which she took immense pride.

Friend Andrea Gallagher said Ms Dornan always ensured "her house was spotless" and spoke of how "Jennifer changed people's lives".

Another close friend, Tanya Watson, said Ms Dornan "was like a mother to all the children in the street".

"She was a strong pillar of this community. People just loved her," she said.

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