Tragedy as pensioner dies in horror house fire in Msida

Tributes have been paid to a pensioner who died in a house fire in Msida.

Joe Dimech, 70, was found dead in his fourth-floor flat in Oscar Zammit Street near the Junior College.

His wife, 66, and son, 20, managed to escape the flames but were seriously injured in the blaze which broke out at around 7am on Wednesday.

They were rushed to Mater Dei Hospital after breathing in smoke.

Shocked neighbours described Mr Dimech as ‘a gentleman’ and ‘a very friendly and kind guy’ who was ‘always ready to cheer you up’.

He previously worked as a chauffeur for Malta’s former tourism minister Francis Zammit Dimech.

Dr Zammit Dimech said he was shocked by the tragedy.

The MEP tweeted: ‘I remember Joe as a very hard-working and ever so jovial a person, never failing to lend a helping hand to all who needed it.

‘My deepest condolences and utmost solidarity to his family.’

Malta Police believe the fire was started by a gas heater cylinder.

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