Christmas woe as mourning family's home hit by blaze
A family in south Dublin have had a heartbreaking start to Christmas after their home went up in flames.
Gardai were called to the house at Ballyogan Crescent, Carrickmines, shortly before midnight on Tuesday.
It is understood that five members of the family were inside at the time.
Gardai are not treating the fire as suspicious and said that Christmas lights are one potential cause of the blaze.
Sources said last night that one theory being investigated is that the fire was caused by an electrical issue.
A man in his 50s was taken to hospital for treatment following the fire. It is understood he had recently lost his wife to cancer.
Three children and two adults are believed to have been in the house at the time.
However, a relative told the Herald last night that everyone involved is "safe and sound".
The relative also said the family's Christmas lights could have been the cause of the fire.
The blaze caused serious damage to the property, especially at the front where the Christmas lights had been hung.
Children's toys and family items were scattered across the front garden.
Neighbours who witnessed the fire told last night of their efforts to evacuate family members from the blaze.
"It was mad. I was just sitting in and then it was just crazy so I ran straight out to help," said Keith Ryan.
"It was difficult breaking the windows, and we had to get ladders to help the people in the top of the building.
"It's really sad because the family had been through so much recently when their mother died of cancer.
"It's a great community here, though - my mother had held a candlelight vigil for the victims in the Carrickmines fire last year, so we can all help in these situations."
Another neighbour said: "There were five or six of us helping and he was very lucky to get out alive with the amount of smoke that was coming out of the house.
"We had to run in and out of the gardens, taking breaks.
"You can only imagine what it was like at that hour of the night - there were girls on the street out there with children screaming.
"It was hard to break the doors in and the windows wouldn't break.
"The fire made it difficult as it exploded out the window."
The incident comes just over a year after a devastating fire at a halting site in Carrickmines resulted in the deaths of 11 people.
The victims included an unborn child.
All of the victims in that disaster in October last year were members of two Traveller families.