Helensburgh fire attack: Mother speaks of heartache at loss of ‘three people I loved most’
Angela Sharkey, 46, who suffered severe burns and lost consciousness during the fire in Helensburgh, on 24 July, said: “The three things I loved most in my life are dead.”
She revealed that her sister told her four times that husband Thomas, 55, son Thomas jnr, 21, and eight-year-old daughter Bridget, had been killed, but she refused to believe it.
Mrs Sharkey was on such strong medication she believed her children had come to visit her in hospital.
“In my mind the kids were visiting me and everything, but I was away with the fairies because of all the stuff I was rigged up to,” she said.
“In my mind young Thomas was visiting me and I actually said to him, and I can remember it really clearly, ‘You need to phone your Aunty Margaret and tell her you’re not dead, because she keeps telling me you’re dead, she’s lost it.’
“And he was laughing and I believed this.
“I don’t know what they were doing to me to make me stay still and breathe but I believed the kids were fine and it was my sister going mad – it sounds crazy now.”
Holding back tears, Mrs Sharkey spoke of her pride in her “brilliant” daughter Bridget, and in Thomas jnr, a golf prodigy who had won a scholarship in Georgia – but admitted she has not yet even started to come to terms with losing her husband.
Thomas jnr died in the blaze at the family’s flat in Scott Court, Helensburgh.
His sister Bridget died shortly after arriving at hospital, and their father died of his injuries at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary on Saturday 30 July – six days after the fire and the day after being told his children were dead.
When Mrs Sharkey finally awoke at the Royal Infirmary, two-and-a-half weeks later, she had no memory of the fire.
Police believe it was started maliciously and Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for information which leads to an arrest and conviction.
They are trying to trace two men, who were seen in the area at the time of the fire, and a small blue car, possibly a Renault Clio.
Detectives are convinced the answer lies within the Helensburgh area and the family were targeted deliberately.
Mrs Sharkey has told officers