Tuesday 23 May 2017

Hero gardai reunited with girl they saved from burning house

Sharon Gahan from Mullingar with her daughter Maddie (2) and the gardai – from left, Vincent Frayne, Brian Craven
and Vincent Reynolds – who helped save Maddie from a house fire in August
Sharon Gahan from Mullingar with her daughter Maddie (2) and the gardai – from left, Vincent Frayne, Brian Craven and Vincent Reynolds – who helped save Maddie from a house fire in August

Eoghan MacConnell

THREE heroic gardai were yesterday reunited with a little girl whose life they saved after finding her cowering under her bed in a burning house.

Maddie Maloney (2) was found hiding in the dark smoke-filled room while her home blazed around her in the early hours of August 22.

She was trapped in an upstairs bedroom after her parents, Anthony Maloney and Sharon Gahan, and three sisters Kelly (13), Molly (7) and Sophie (6), managed to escape from the house in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

Garda Vincent Reynolds and Garda Brian Craven arrived at the scene ahead of the fire brigade and made several attempts to rescue Maddie.

"The smoke was overwhelming, the torches weren't able to penetrate the smoke very well so we just had to do our best," Mr Reynolds said.

Garda Brian Frayne arrived a short time later and found Maddie under the bed.

"It was like a miracle," he said. "I took a torch in the front door and went upstairs and it was like seeing a doll under the bed."

Yesterday, Ms Gahan thanked neighbours and the three gardai for attempting to rescue Maddie from the fire.

"If it wasn't for the guards we would never have gotten Maddie. Everybody had tried, we are just very lucky that they went in," she said.

Irish Independent

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