Mum tells of terror as fire guts home while children out 'trick-or-treating'
A mother of two has told of her frantic attempts to put out a fire that ripped through the family home.
Manjola Sloan was in her house at Moylaragh Gardens, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, with her mother and friend when the blaze broke out shortly after 10.30pm on Saturday.
Her husband, Alan, was trick-or-treating with their two young children, aged two and 13, in the estate at the time.
The young family now face the prospect of being homeless this Christmas after the upstairs of the house was "completely destroyed" in the blaze.
Thousands of euro worth of personal belongings, including personal items, such as photographs, were destroyed.
"I was downstairs with my mother and my friend when the fire broke out," she said.
"It started in my bedroom, and because the door was closed, I didn't realise the house was on fire.
"I had absolutely no idea.
"It wasn't until people started knocking on the front door that we realised what was going on. They were screaming, 'get out, there's a fire upstairs.'
"I ran up the stairs and opened the door to the room.
"My bed was ablaze. I tried desperately to throw water on it - but no matter what I did - I couldn't stop the fire from spreading to the furniture and curtains.
"We ran out of the house. My mother called my niece on her mobile to tell her what was going on. My husband then raced back to the house."
Ms Sloan said it took over two hours for crews from Dublin Fire Brigade to put out the blaze.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Manjola's husband Alan said their home was "completely gutted".
"What we're wearing at the moment is what we have left," he said.
"Everything was completely destroyed."
He said the family still didn't know what caused the fire.
"We don't know what sparked it off; it could have been anything. It's been an extremely difficult night for us but the help we've received from locals has been incredible."