Aerial photograph shows how horror inferno obliterated family home
Flames were so intense firemen had to be hosed down
Published 11/10/2015 | 02:30
A fire that claimed the lives of up to ten people, including at least five children, left a permanent living structure completely gutted.
The fire, centred on a prefab and caravan at the Glenamuck site, was so intense that the remains of the 10 victims could not be confirmed yesterday evening.
Aerial photographs show the extensive damage done to the Carrickmines halting site after the inferno ripped through the dwellings in a matter of minutes in the early hours of the morning.
The largest structure is completely obliterated - no wall has been left standing.
It is also evident how the fire spread quickly to another portacabin structure which was located beside the building.
It has also been revealed that firemen had to use their hoses to douse their colleagues struggling to rescue victims from the 'furnace' that engulfed the halting site in south county Dublin - home of the extended Connors family.
It is understood that the victims were a man and women who were partners and their two little girls. It is understood that the woman was in the early stage of pregnancy. The other victims were a husband and wife and their three children - a boy and two girls.
The tenth victim was a 39-year-old man - a close relative of one of the families.
It is believed that one of the couples from the Bray area were merely visiting and staying overnight.
Emergency services personnel said the fire was so intense that they were unable to break through the shells of the prefab and caravan. A six-month-old girl was taken from the scene to Tallaght Hospital with extensive burns but could not be revived.
It is understood firemen found the remains of five people in the main prefab where the fire seemed to have been centred. It is believed, but could not be confirmed, that this was the home of the married couple and their three children.
Members of the extended Connors family who gathered at the South Side Travellers Action Group offices in Sandyford throughout yesterday said they believed one of the women who died may have been pregnant.
There was confusion throughout yesterday about the exact number and identities of the dead. The intensity of the blaze made identification almost impossible, sources said.
Gardai said yesterday afternoon the death toll was nine but that figure seemed to rise later to 10. It is the worst single tragedy known to have occurred in the Irish Travelling community in living memory.
Members of the Connors family who asked not to be named said yesterday the family had moved to the 'temporary' halting site at Glenamuck nine years ago after leaving their previous home in Sandyford. They said the family moved after one of the victim's brother was killed in a quad-bike accident at Sandyford. The reason they moved is unclear.
An elder member of the Connors clan, who also asked not to be named, said the prefab and caravans that were the family homes were "not ideal" for young children.
"They have been living there for nine or 10 years and it is described as a 'temporary halting site'.
"We know it is hard now for everyone in the Traveller community and the settled community but young Travellers have no choice but to live like this.
"They can't afford to rent. They are as much homeless as anyone in the settled community.
The Connors clan had been living in the Sandyford area for generations prior to being moved to Glenamuck.
Garda forensic experts and fire brigade personnel remained at the scene last night.
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