Brave paramedic forced back by smoke as man dies in flat blaze
NEIGHBOURS of a man who died in an early-morning fire have told how an ambulance man bravely crawled into the flat through thick, black smoke in a vain attempt to reach him.
Thomas Flood perished in the blaze in the ground-floor flat where he lived alone at the Constitution Hill flats complex in Dublin's Broadstone.
Locals said Mr Flood, who was in his late 50s and was originally from Cabra, was a father of six.
A neighbour told how the emergency services battled to reach Mr Flood as thick, noxious smoke billowed out of the flat.
"The ambulance man kicked in the door. He made two attempts to get in and his colleagues kept calling him back," one witness said. "I was standing behind him. He first ran in and then ran out again. He crawled in on his belly then. He put his own life in danger; you couldn't see a hand in front of you."
A couple who live on the floor above Mr Flood smelled the smoke and rang 999, running downstairs where they banged on his door in an attempt to wake him. However, there was no response.
Mr Flood's body was found inside and he was brought to the nearby Mater Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. A post-mortem was due to be carried out. Gardai from the Bridewell are investigating the cause of the blaze.