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'Clothes I have on are all I have left,' says mum-of-four after home is burnt out

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Caroline Fagan (with a picture of her son that she managed to recover) in her burnt-out flat. St. Teresa's Gardens, Donore Avenue, Dublin

Caroline Fagan (with a picture of her son that she managed to recover) in her burnt-out flat. St. Teresa's Gardens, Donore Avenue, Dublin

Caroline Fagan in her burnt-out flat. St. Teresa's Gardens, Donore Avenue, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Caroline Fagan in her burnt-out flat. St. Teresa's Gardens, Donore Avenue, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

5 Jan 2014; Caroline Fagan in her burnt-out flat. St. Teresa's Gardens, Donore Avenue, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

5 Jan 2014; Caroline Fagan in her burnt-out flat. St. Teresa's Gardens, Donore Avenue, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

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Caroline Fagan (with a picture of her son that she managed to recover) in her burnt-out flat. St. Teresa's Gardens, Donore Avenue, Dublin

A mother of four has been left with nothing but the clothes on her back after her flat was at the centre of an arson attack.

This is the burnt-out interior of the flat in the St Teresa's Gardens complex in Donore Avenue in Dublin which contained all of Caroline Fagan's possessions.

The entire flat is scorched inside and the walls and the floors are black with the fire damage.

A devastated Caroline (39) said the incident happened after she had gone to Tallaght to spend New Year's Eve with her partner and his mother.

Caroline's mother, Evelyn, was minding her four children - Kaitlin (16), Shauna (14) Cameron (11) and Ellie May (9) - in Drimnagh. "I'd have been sizzled in that fire," Caroline told the Herald."I could have had my kids in there with me."

Caroline believes that the arson attack happened on New Year's Day in the evening.

"I came back and I found my flat like this," she said.

"Everything I put into it is gone. The clothes I am standing in is all I have left on me, that's all.

"Basically everything has been destroyed. All my kitchen stuff, all my bedroom stuff. Basically everything I had. Every bit of furniture I had. Everything was brand new that I bought. All gone now. I have no one to compensate me."

Caroline had only been in the apartment since July after she was relocated from a flat to the front of the complex where she said she had also experienced vandalism.

She wants suitable accommodation to be found for her, and is adamant that she won't be going into a hostel.

"Why should I when I am paying rent like everybody else?" she said.

The burnt-out flat was being boarded up yesterday. Dublin City Council was not in a position to provide a comment on the case last night.

Last January, the council published plans for the regeneration of St Teresa's Gardens, which is next to the Coombe maternity hospital.

Councillors gave the regeneration plans for the 1950s estate in the south inner city the green light at their meeting last May.

Local councillor Criona Ni Dhalaigh, who is on the St Teresa's Gardens Regeneration Board, said plans for the 50 new units are at a tendering stage. The successful tender will be chosen soon and hopefully builders will be on site by August.

"The full demolition of the flats on the Eugene Street side will take place in the next two months," she said.

Seventy families are still living there, and 50 will move in to the units.

fdillon@herald.ie

Online Editors