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Sunday 4 December 2016

Young mother loses everything in terrifying arsonist attack

Cathal McMahon

Published 03/11/2016 | 02:30

Firefighters at the flat in Clongriffin, north Dublin. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Firefighters at the flat in Clongriffin, north Dublin. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

A young mother has told how her home and everything in it were destroyed in a terrifying arson attack.

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Gráinne O'Brien (26) almost choked to death on dangerous fumes when she tried to put out the blaze at her flat in Clongriffin, north Dublin, on Tuesday night.

Both she and her six-year-old son managed to escape, but Ms O'Brien told the Irish Indpendent that everything else was destroyed.

"I'm just too devastated. Whatever has happened, me and my son never deserved this treatment.

Firefighters at the flat in Clongriffin, north Dublin. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Firefighters at the flat in Clongriffin, north Dublin. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

"We have been left with absolutely nothing between us," she said.

Ms O'Brien said that she had been the victim of an earlier assault and in a follow-up incident the alleged assailant returned to her apartment and set fire to a bed.

"I ran out the house with my son when he broke through the door and I ran across to my other friend's apartment.

"I really didn't feel very protected. I think he set fire to the bed," she said.

Gráinne O’Brien
Gráinne O’Brien

Ms O'Brien said that she raced back into the apartment to try to put the blaze out.

"When I ran back in, the smoke inhalation was so bad that I had to run back out - I couldn't breathe, it was terrifying."

The fire brigade was called to the Station Hill apartment block shortly after 5.30pm on Tuesday.

Ms O'Brien's apartment was destroyed and adjacent flats were also damaged in the suspected arson attack.

One man was arrested by gardai and is currently detained at Coolock Garda station.

Ms O'Brien, who works as a makeup artist and tutor, only discovered the full extent of the damage when she returned to the flat yesterday.

"My son's Christmas presents are gone, [as is] all my makeup kit, so I cannot work anymore," she said.

"Also my father's ashes and every single picture are gone too."

Irish Independent

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