Tuesday 23 January 2018

Family of mum and baby killed in house fire settle case for €55k

Marion Moran pictured with her son Brandon as a baby.
Marion Moran pictured with her son Brandon as a baby.

Ann O’Loughlin

THE family of a young mother and her three-year-old son who were killed in a house fire settled their High Court action for €55,000.

The court heard that one of the smoke alarms in the house at Farndreg Estate, Dundalk, Co Louth may have been mis-wired.

Marion Moran (25) and her son Brandon had been living in a social housing development in the Farndreg estate, Dundalk when a fire broke out in April 2005.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told neighbours made frantic efforts to save the young mother, before firemen arrived but could not even see because of the thick black smoke.

Ms Moran died in hospital six days later, within hours of Brandon.

Marion's mother Madeline Moran of Ashling Park, Dundalk, Co Louth yesterday settled her action against the estate builders, Shields Construction (Dundalk) Ltd of Lurgenkeel, Kilcurry, Dundalk , Co Louth  and electrical contractor Thomas Campbell  of Commons Road, Droimiskin. Dundalk, Co Louth.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told no order was to be made against Cluid Housing Association and the case against smoke alarm manufacturer the El Company Ltd, trading as El Electronics, Shannon Free Zone, Co Clare was being withdrawn.

It was claimed that no alarm sounded when fire broke out on April 7, 2005. The defendants had denied claims of alleged negligence in relation to the management , operation, control and maintenance of the smoke alarms at the house.

Jonathan Kilfeather SC told the court it was a particularly tragic case  where a fire broke out in the early hours.

Counsel said Ms Moran's daughter, Tamika, who is now 14 years of age, was sleeping at a friend's house. Counsel said neighbours managed to get in to the three bedroom house, but they could not see because of thick black smoke.

The cause of the fire, he said, appeared to be in the kitchen area where there was a cooker with two rings on. A pan on one of the rings boiled off and the pan heated up so that a stereo system caught fire and the blaze spread across the kitchen.

Counsel said there was an issue at the inquest in relation to the smoke alarms. One report concluded what was likely to have happened was that one alarm may have been mis-wired.

Ms Justice Irvine sympathised with the Moran family and allocated €45,000 of the settlement for Ms Moran's daughter Tamika.


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