Mother in fire tragedy is told both her baby boys are dead
A BOY aged four lost his battle for life yesterday after a Halloween house fire -- just hours after his injured mother had been told of the death of his younger brother.
Calvin Ellard died in hospital at 2.10pm -- four days after he had been dragged free by fire fighters from his burning home at Elm Park, Wilton, in Cork.
His brother, Cian (2), was rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH) but was pronounced dead shortly after admission on Sunday morning.
The boys' mother, Stacey Ellard (26), last night remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
Calvin lost his battle for life just a few hours after Stacey's family were finally able to break the news to her of Cian's death.
The devastated mother was being comforted last night by her parents, Denis and Ann, and her partner, Ricky Punch, after learning about the loss of her children.
Mr Punch is currently serving a custodial sentence in Cork Prison for drugs offences. However, he was granted temporary compassionate release last Sunday when news of the tragic fire emerged.
Mr Punch had maintained a vigil over the past four days at his wife's and sons' bedsides.
Friends last night said that he was "inconsolable".
Calvin had only started primary school in September and Stacey had already organised Halloween outfits for the two boys so they could go trick-or-treating.
Neighbours were alerted to the fire at the family's home shortly before 4am on Sunday.
Two male neighbours smashed in a window and door in a desperate but futile bid to rescue the mother and children.
However, they were unable to fight their way past the dense smoke which filled the hallway.
The fire began in the kitchen area and investigators are focussing on an electrical fault or the cooker as the cause.
The fire reached such temperatures that it scorched through the ceiling and left the entire house filled with dense, acrid smoke.
Stacey, Calvin and Cian were discovered lying in the same bed in an upstairs room. All three were asleep when the fire broke out. Fire fighters using breathing apparatus dragged them clear of the smoke-filled two-storey house.
Togher parish priest, Fr Robert Brophy, said the entire community was completely numbed by the tragedy.
Local TD and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said everyone's thoughts and prayers went to the Ellard and Punch families at this terrible time.