Passer-by rushes into blazing house to rescue woman
Published 04/12/2010 | 05:00
A BRAVE passer-by whose own mother died in a fire just two weeks ago rushed into a blazing building to save a woman during a fire that claimed a man's life.
The fire broke out at a house, which is divided into several bedsits, on Dublin's North Circular Road at about 1.15am yesterday.
Cork man Terry Horgan was passing the scene and sprang into action when he saw the smoke and flames.
He said he had just managed to coax one man to jump from an upstairs window of the blazing building when he heard a woman scream for help inside.
Mr Horgan rushed into the burning house when he saw the woman was on fire and engulfed in smoke. He managed to drag her out on to the snow.
The woman was last night in a critical condition with severe burns at Dublin's Mater Hospital.
Another man, Gary Linnane (38), died as a result of smoke inhalation. He was a single man, originally from Co Galway, who lived in a basement flat of the building. Another man is still in hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
One resident jumped on to a flat roof at the back of the building and escaped uninjured.
The three injured people were taken to the Mater Hospital, where Mr Linnane was pronounced dead. The deceased's father, John Linnane, who owns the building, said his son was its caretaker.
"We recently installed new smoke alarms in the house, which thankfully woke people up and is probably why so many managed to get out alive.
"My son was in a basement flat and we think the smoke got to him first. He suffocated.
"It is some comfort to us that it was smoke inhalation which took our son and not the fire," said Mr Linnane.
Mr Horgan said: "I was just walking along when I saw smoke and fire billowing out of the house, so I ran to see what was happening. A man said he had called the fire brigade.
"I heard a woman's voice inside screaming for help. People tried to stop me, but I ran inside. The whole place was in flames and I could barely see anything.
"Eventually I found the woman who was completely on fire. I managed to drag her out. We rolled her in the snow to put the fire out. It was absolutely horrific. I lost my own mother in a fire two weeks ago."
The scene has been preserved for a technical examination and gardai are still investigating the cause of the blaze.
A spokesman for Dublin City Fire said the fire services were alerted to the fire at 1.19am and four fire engines and four ambulances were at the scene at 1.23am, despite the icy conditions.