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Young father tells of moment he dropped his baby from third floor to save her life in house fire


The scene on Gloucester Place in Dublin. Inset, rescuer Mark Furlong

The scene on Gloucester Place in Dublin. Inset, rescuer Mark Furlong

Derek Healy and Charlene Murphy with baby Mila Murphy.

Derek Healy and Charlene Murphy with baby Mila Murphy.




The scene on Gloucester Place in Dublin. Inset, rescuer Mark Furlong

The dad who was forced to throw his baby to safety from their blazing home has thanked his neighbours for coming to their rescue.

Derek Healy (26) said he was especially thankful to 20-year-old Mark Furlong and his 17-year-old cousin Aaron for being first on the scene and saving little Mila, who is only three months old.

Derek had to hold Mila out the top window of their three-storey home on Gloucester Place off Sean McDermott Street to save her from the smoke that was filling the building at 5am yesterday.


As Mark ran to help Derek pleaded with him to catch the child. Just as Mark got to the house Derek threw Mila down and Mark caught her safe in his arms.

Derek told RTE's Liveline today how he screamed out for help as he had his three-month old baby hanging out the window.

“I sounded out for help. There was no one around so it felt like ages but it was only two or three minutes. The two lads came running around, I was screaming out for help. I had Mila hanging out, down low, so that the smoke wasn’t getting at her.”

“You hear people saying that smoke is the killer and it is really,” he said.

“We were screaming out for help; the two lads just came running up. I seen them coming up and I said come over to the window, grab the baby, grab the baby.”

“They jumped over the wall. [Mark] had his arms up and I let her down as much as I could and I let her go. He caught her, I knew he would.”

“As soon as he got her I got out and I landed perfectly on the ledge, there’s another roof right underneath – a tiled roof – and I landed on it.”

Mila's mother Charelene was next to jump out of the burning house, Derek recalled.

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“Charelene jumped down and tripped up and fell from that to the grand, and fractured her pelvis and cut her chin. She got surgery on her chin today and got all the stitches – it’s all cleaned back up. They can’t actually do anything with [the pelvis], it just has to heal itself.”

Doctors are keeping three-month-old Mila and her sister Lola for one more night in Temple Street Children's University Hospital.

“They’re being kept there for one more day”

“Tomorrow I’m sure I’ll be able to bring Mila and Lola up to the hospital and Charelene will be able to come and see her.”

Derek thanked everyone for helping his family.

"Thanks to everyone for all the texts and mails. We're all doing ok," said Derek in a Facebook message.

"Thanks to everyone in the Diamond for all their help and the two lads who were on the scene first and helped us with Mila. Life savers x," he added.

More than 1,000 people have since 'liked' the message as a sign of support for Derek and his partner Charlene and her family.

Six people were forced to jump or be rescued from the blaze as it engulfed the house.

Charlene's mother Edel suffered broken legs as she leapt for her life.

Messages of support have been flooding to the Gloucester Diamond area of the city and many young locals are being hailed as heroes for their brave actions, when they put their own lives at risk to save the family from perishing.

Meanwhile, a massive fundraising drive has been organised by locals to help the Murphy family and Derek Healy.

They have lost all their possessions to the shocking blaze that threatened their lives, and neighbours asked that the fund be set up so they could collect and raise funds.

"This is a terrible time for the family made worse because this fire has happened in the run-up to Christmas,"  said Lord Mayor Christy Burke.

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