Man jumps from third floor to escape blaze
A MAN who was forced to jump out of a third-storey window to escape a blazing fire in his apartment was lucky to escape with his life.
John Hoban (48) leaped 30 feet to the ground from the window of his home on the third floor of the Commons apartment complex in Duleek, Co Meath, shortly before 5am.
Mr Hoban suffered burns and broke his feet, possibly striking them against a protruding balcony on the way down.
He had been asleep when the fire broke out and was fortunate not to have been overcome by smoke fumes.
He was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda where his condition was described as "stable".
Six other residents in the apartment block were evacuated from the building as a precaution while fire crews from Drogheda and Navan brought the blaze under control.
Yesterday, Mr Hoban's niece Catriona Hoban said he was doing fine in hospital.
"I spoke to him by phone after the fire and he was groggy but okay," she said.
The interior of her uncle's home was entirely gutted during the intense blaze and there is a gaping hole in the roof. It is believed the fire began in the rear of the property but its cause remains unknown.
Mr Hoban is originally from Blackrock, Co Dublin, and had only recently moved to Duleek.
Neighbours said yesterday that he was lucky to escape with his life.
"I thought it was a fog at first -- the whole area was covered in smoke and then I saw the flames pouring from the apartment," said resident Christina Learmouth.