Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Police are seeking the assistance of the public as they investigate a fatal house fire that claimed the lives of the sole owner-occupant and his two dogs.
Emergency services were called to a property on Grant Street at 6:30pm, Saturday, August 19, after neighbours reported flames coming from the building to triple zero.
The body of 59-year-old Mark Gallagher was located inside the destroyed dwelling over 24 hours later once the fire had been extinguished and the property was certified safe for police to investigate.
Mr Gallagher, an employee at a local club, lived at the property alone with his two dogs.
Police investigations have established that he finished work at around about 8:30am that morning and was sighted at IGA West Mackay at 9:30am.
“What police are asking for assistance with is anyone who may have had any contact or seen Mr Gallagher between the hours of 9:30am on Saturday morning and 6:30pm when that fire started,” said Detective Acting Inspector Chris Eaton.
Police believe the fire originated centrally in the dwelling and are awaiting forensic examination results to confirm the cause of the blaze.
“It’s an old Queenslander style house, so when those particular buildings are destroyed by fire, it’s quite difficult to establish and does take some time for our forensic people,” said Mr Eaton.
Mr Eaton said Mr Gallagher had lived in Mackay for some time and was well known in the community.
His next of kin, both locally and interstate, have been contacted.
“We’re really trying to establish, was he at home throughout the course of that day, had he been out, that will just narrow down our time frame and hopefully assist our investigators.”
If you have any information regarding Mr Gallagher, contact Policelink at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting or Crime Stoppers at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au or call 1800 333 000.
Quote this reference number: QP2301377124.
A Grant Street property was destroyed by fire last weekend, claiming the lives of 59-year-old Mark Gallagher and his two dogs
Detective Acting Inspector Chris Eaton is calling on members of the public for information. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie