[WATCH] Elderly man found dead in shaft after desperate attempt to escape apartment fire

An elderly man died and his wife and son were seriously injured after their Msida apartment caught fire on Wednesday morning

Firefighters had to use a drone to locate the lifeless body of Joe Dimech after his fourth-floor apartment burst into flames
Firefighters had to use a drone to locate the lifeless body of Joe Dimech after his fourth-floor apartment burst into flames
Man dies in Msida apartment fire

An elderly man died after his apartment caught fire following what is believed to be an accident caused by a gas heater cylinder.

Joe Dimech, 70, was in his fourth-floor apartment in Triq Oscar Zammit, Msida, close to the Junior College, with his 66-year-old wife and 20-year-old son when the building burst into flames at around 7am.

The man’s lifeless body was discovered in a shaft at the back of the apartment block after firefighters deployed a drone.

The apartment is located in Triq Oscar Zammit, Msida next to the Junior College
The apartment is located in Triq Oscar Zammit, Msida next to the Junior College

The man’s wife and son managed to escape and are recovering in hospital. It is understood that they sustained serious injuries.

Members of the civil protection department were soon on site to put out the flames. An intensive search of the flat to find the man yielded no results until a drone was deployed over the building.

The man’s body was located in a narrow shaft at the back of the building. It is believed the man tried to escape the flames by climbing down the shaft.

Neighbours, who described the man as “affable” and “always ready to cheer you up”, burst into tears when news emerged that his lifeless body was located.

Dimech had also been a driver to PN MEP Francis Zammit Dimech when he was a minister.

Magistrate Simone Grech is leading an inquiry, while police investigations are ongoing.

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