Saturday 3 December 2016

Hero who survived house fire rushed to save couple from caravan blaze

Martin Grant

Published 18/08/2016 | 12:19

A DUBLINER who escaped from a house fire 10 years ago has revealed how he tried to save a couple from a caravan blaze in Donabate.

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A man and a woman are recovering in hospital today after being injured in a caravan blaze at Hands Park, north Co Dublin, on Tuesday night.

Thomas Kinsella revealed that when he initially came on the scene he tried to rush into the burning unit fearing someone was trapped inside.

Mr Kinsella, who lives on the site, told the Herald he used a fire extinguisher to battle the blaze.

Thomas, Kinsella at The Scene of the fire at The Caravan Park, At New Road, Donabate Credit: Colin O'Riordan
Thomas, Kinsella at The Scene of the fire at The Caravan Park, At New Road, Donabate Credit: Colin O'Riordan

However, the man and woman who were in the unit are believed to have escaped before he got there.

People on the New Road site heard a "loud bang" shortly before 9.30pm and the alarm was raised.

"All hell broke loose," Mr Kinsella said after the fire.

"A neighbour started knocking on all the windows because we thought the fire spread all the way down.

"I ran down with a fire extinguisher. We tried to put it out until the fire brigade came.

"I was going to run in but people were pulling me back … I wanted to make sure there was nobody inside."

Mr Kinsella said there were more than 50 people, including children, evacuated from their mobile homes.

Four units of the Dublin Fire Brigade rushed to the scene and got the blaze under control.

The Scene of the fire at The Caravan Park, At New Road, Donabate this morning. Credit: Colin O'Riordan
The Scene of the fire at The Caravan Park, At New Road, Donabate this morning. Credit: Colin O'Riordan

The couple were rushed to Beaumont Hospital and it is understood they are being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

However, the exact extent of their injuries is not known.

The pair do not live in the site permanently and stay there during the holiday months only, according to people in the area.

As locals came to terms with the blaze, sources believe the fire may have been caused by gas equipment used to boil water.

A number of gas cylinders could be seen at the site yesterday, along with a football, trampoline, and several pieces of burnt furniture.

The charred remains of the mobile home also remained on the site, with neighbours saying the unit "just melted".

An investigation will now be carried out to determine the cause of the blaze.

Mr Kinsella, who also escaped from a house fire in Blanchardstown 10 years ago, said that he hopes the injured couple will recover from their injuries.

"I lit the coal fire in my house 10 years ago and went to sleep. I smelled the smoke and woke up another person who was in the house," he said.

"I ran out and walked across the road and watched my house go up in flames. Everything I owned was gone."

He said of the recent fire: "It's just terrible, I'm here five years and I've never seen anything like it."

Meanwhile, two other men are recovering after being injured in separate fires that also broke out on Wednesday night.

A house fire broke out at a house in the Woodland Grove housing estate, Clondalkin, shortly after midnight.

In a separate incident, another man was brought to hospital after a house fire on Maryville Road, in Raheny, after 4am.

A spokesman for Dublin Fire Brigade confirmed that both men received treatment for smoke inhalation.

The condition of both of the men was unknown last night.

Herald

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