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Tuesday 21 February 2017

Firemen who escaped death in farm shed explosion named locally

Published 09/05/2016 | 02:30

Mackie Corcoran, one of the firefighters injured in yesterday morning's blaze
Mackie Corcoran, one of the firefighters injured in yesterday morning's blaze
Pat McCarthy
Ger O'Leary

Three firemen narrowly escaped critical injuries when a massive explosion ripped through a burning farm shed in Co Cork.

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The Macroom Fire Brigade personnel were attending a blaze between Tarelton and Kilmichael in Cork at 1am on Sunday when the explosion occurred, showering them with flying debris and burning material.

One source said that, as a result of the explosion, a huge fireball shot out from the shed and engulfed the three firefighters. While their gear protected them from the flying debris, they suffered severe burns -with one of them sustaining serious injuries to his hands, arms and face.

The men were named locally as Mackie Corcoran, Pat McCarthy and Ger O'Leary.

All were immediately rushed by Macroom gardaí to the specialist burns unit at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

While some of the men's burns were serious, none of the injuries sustained are believed to be life-threatening.

Pat McCarthy
Pat McCarthy

However, two of the men are expected to remain in hospital for treatment for several days.

One is being treated for serious burns to his hands, arms and face.

Ger O'Leary
Ger O'Leary

The third fire fighter was discharged yesterday afternoon after being treated at CUH.

The precise cause of the explosion remains unclear.

However, the initial theory is that the fire spread to either a gas cylinder or a fuel tank being stored in the farm shed, which then exploded.

The fire itself is believed to have started accidentally.

Units from other fire brigades raced to the scene to assist the Macroom units.

"They were very lucky they were outside the shed when the explosion occurred," one fire brigade source said.

"If they had been inside the shed or closer to the burning structure when the explosion occurred, we could be talking about life-threatening injuries," the source added.

Irish Independent

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