Garda 'heroes' save six from fire that claimed man's life
Published 07/11/2011 | 05:00
FOUR gardai have been hailed as heroes for saving the lives of six people, including a mother and her young child, from a fire that engulfed a house and resulted in the death of a young man.
The 22-year-old man was killed in the blaze that gutted the top floor of the detached red brick house near Croke Park in Dublin early yesterday.
Witnesses revealed that were it not for the brave actions of two gardai on foot patrol, and another pair who joined them, more fatalities would have occurred.
The two gardai were walking along Clonliffe Road at around 4.30am when they noticed smoke coming from the house on nearby St Joseph's Avenue.
Upon reaching the house, which was subdivided into a number of flats, they found themselves unable to wake its occupants.
Around this time a garda squad car arrived at the scene and using a sledgehammer taken from the car they broke down the front door.
They then risked their lives by entering the smoke-filled building.
"They had to put the main door through," a garda source said.
"Then they got into the flat and they had to put the front door through there too. They got four lads out and then attempted to go upstairs to the other flat but the flames were too great."
In all, four men, a woman and her young son were evacuated from the building. None of those rescued suffered any injuries. A number of units from the Dublin Fire Brigade battled with the fire in a bid to rescue the seventh person in the building.
However the young man's body was discovered in the building once the fire was extinguished.
"I don't know how it started but I saw the gardai coming, I saw the lights, I saw (a) big fire," a neighbour said of the incident.
"There was a family with a child there, I know them but I have never talked to them," he added.
The deceased's remains were taken to the city morgue.
The house, meanwhile, was examined by a garda forensic team before being boarded up yesterday afternoon.
A garda spokesman said they had no reason to suspect foul play for the cause of the fire.