FIVE children and four adults are lucky to be alive after a late-night fire swept through their home.
One woman's only option to escape from the intense inferno was to climb along an electrical line and jump into the arms of waiting neighbours.
Fire officers said the occupants had a very lucky escape. All nine lives were saved by firefighters and alert neighbours.
The three-storey building at the Thomas Court flats in Dublin city centre was completely destroyed and it is believed a faulty fuse board caused the blaze.
The fire broke out at 3am yesterday.
Three young Malaysian boys aged seven, three and two were rescued alongside their parents by firefighters when they cut through security bars on their windows.
Another adult and two children were living on the top floor of the house and a ladder was used to reach the family.
Another woman jumped to safety as quick-thinking neighbours gathered to save her. She had climbed out a window on the first floor onto electrical wires to escape the smoke and flames.
Neighbour Paul O'Mahony said: "When we looked up to the window of the house there was a lady standing on the ledge and she was actually standing on the electrical wire.
"So we all got together and shouted at her to jump, so we all caught her there together."
Five ambulances and five units of Dublin Fire Brigade were at the scene.
Firemen had to break down the main door of the house with a hatchet and cut through security bars on windows of the ground floor in order to rescue the tenants who were then brought to St James's Hospital and Tallaght Hospital.
David Kavanagh, district officer of Dublin Fire Brigade, said the families had a "very, very, very lucky escape".
"I suppose it's someone calling the fire brigade immediately and us getting here so quick. You can see from the ground floor there they've security bars on the window which we'd to cut to take people out through," Mr Kavanagh said.
The house, which dates back to the 1800s, is broken into three two-bedroom apartments.
Former tenants of the building, who lived on the top floor for more than a year, said they paid €750 a month in rent.
The Mauritian couple, who asked not to be identified, moved out of the Thomas Court flat last May -- a month before their third child was born.
The house originally belonged to St Catherine's Church on Thomas Street.
Paddy Heron, of St Catherine's, said the parish wanted to help the families caught up in the blaze with food and clothes as their homes were now boarded up.
The four adults and five children abandoned all of their belongings in the middle of the night when they evacuated the burning building.