Neighbours in frantic efforts to save widow from blaze
Neighbours made frantic efforts to rescue an elderly woman from a late-night house fire.
The blaze at Brierfield near Moylough in north-east Galway claimed the life of widow Nora Wilson.
Mrs Wilson, who was in her 80s, was trapped in her home after the fire broke out shortly after 10pm on Monday.
Her daughter Caroline and grandson Ryan (19), who were living in another part of the bungalow, managed to escape and ran to next-door neighbour Seamus Crowe to get help.
Seamus and his daughter Lisa raced to the blazing house to try to find a way in to rescue Mrs Wilson.
"Seamus had to pull Lisa out of it, the fire was so dangerous. They just couldn't get in," Mr Crowe's mother, Olive, said.
"Caroline and Ryan were frantic when they called to them, banging on their door. But it went up so fast, they just couldn't get in.
"They came across the road to my house and banged on my door and Seamus rang 999.
"We are all in a bad way over it. It's a terrible shock".
Caroline Wilson and her son were both taken to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe where they were treated for shock and smoke inhalation as well as for minor injuries.
For a time it seemed as if the blaze might also spread to Mr Crowe's house next door, but the wind direction and the efforts of the fire brigade crews from Mountbellew and Tuam kept the flames away.
The neat bungalow was gutted in the blaze and Mrs Wilson's body was recovered from the property in the early hours of yesterday morning.
A Garda forensic team and senior fire officer were yesterday poring over the charred remains of the bungalow in an attempt to discover what caused the blaze.