Newbridge fire: 'I grabbed the children... everything we own is gone in fire'
Published 02/04/2015 | 07:33
A family who fled the Newbridge inferno that engulfed their home have told how they lost everything in the fire and have only the clothes they are wearing.
Marcin Podmokly and his wife Yola, daughter Alicja (2) and son Oskar (5) lived next door to the property at Millfield Manor where the fire started.
Polish national Mr Podmokly said he was at home with the children while his wife was at work.
Read more here: Appeal for help after terrace fire leaves families homeless
"Everything was normal until 4pm," he said. "I heard a big bang, and I looked in the gardens and I saw the windows from one of the rooms next door lying there, so then I ran to the front and I saw the big living room window broken and a big fire in the room.
"I grabbed my children and my passport and I ran out the door. I could not take clothes or anything. There was no time.
"We waited for the fire brigade to come. My house was not on fire at that stage but when I was leaving the smoke was in the upstairs part. The fire then spread quickly through the roofs of the six houses. Three hours later, everything was gone.
"Everything we own is gone. Our clothes, our children's clothes, all our photographs of our wedding and the children. Everything."
"The response from the people of Newbridge to the plight of the fire victims has been remarkable.
Read more here: Owner told me 'get out' minutes before home burst into flames
From all over the town they came to the Ryston Sports and Social Club with donations of clothing, bedding and furniture, and a fund was set up locally to raise finances for the families.
The amount of donated items was so large that teams had to begin sorting them at tables in a hall upstairs.
Young children brought toys knowing they would be needed by others.
At a meeting in the club organised by local independent councillors Willie Crowley and Joanne Pender, volunteers were told that seven children are homeless.
Three girls aged 18 months, two and four and four boys aged five, eight, 10 and 11 have been left with nothing.
Local shops and businesses also rallied around with donations of clothing and toiletries.