AN elderly man has died following a house fire in rural Co. Kilkenny last night.
The man, understood to have been in his 70s, was killed in a blaze in the small village of Knocktopher, near Thomastown.
Emergency services were alerted at about 7pm and rushed to the scene, where the man's body was discovered in his home.
No one else was injured in the fire.
According to a statement from Gardaí, the man's body remains at the scene which has been preserved for a technical examination.
The Office of the State Pathologist has been notified.
Local Sinn Féin councillor David Kennedy said the man's death had come as a "massive shock" to the entire community.
He told Independent.ie: "It really came as a huge blow to me as I knew the man personally.
"I understand that his family and loved ones are only learning of this devastating tragedy.
"My heart goes out to them and I wish to offer my deepest sympathies to them."
Anyone who was passing the area yesterday evening is being asked to contact Gardaí at Thomastown on 056 775 4150.