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Balbriggan family left homeless after fire guts home


Smoke rising from the fire that gutted a Balbriggan family's home.

Smoke rising from the fire that gutted a Balbriggan family's home.

Smoke rising from the fire that gutted a Balbriggan family's home.


A Balbriggan family have been left homeless after a fire ravaged through their home on Gibbons Terrace in the early hours of Friday June 3.

Fire broke out at the King family home at approximately 6am Friday June 3 as family slept, with fire alarms only activated after the family had been alerted.

While no-one was seriously injured in the fire, a young girl – a student at Bremore Educate Together Secondary School – suffered from smoke inhalation and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Connel King (21) awoke on Friday morning to the screams of his mother, Mary: “We were all in bed, me my mother and my two younger siblings were in the house. My older brother, he gets up very early to go to work, so it was me my mother and my two younger siblings were still in the house asleep.”

“My mother started screaming, “fire!, fire!”, and that’s when we realised the smoke alarms hadn’t gone off – we’d seen the fire before any alarm went off. We were actually out in the driveway and then the alarms went off.”

The whole family rushed out to the safety of the driveway while Connel immediately phoned for a fire brigade. The house, he said, filled up with black smoke and flames “six feet high.” 

The cause of the blaze is as yet unknown. According to Connel, firemen have yet to do a fire report.

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He says: “It could have been a different story if we hadn’t noticed, because the alarms didn’t go off. We all could have been killed by the smoke or burnt or what not.

“My sister wasn’t burned but she was really bad with inhaling the smoke, her room was really badly affected by the fire. She had to go to the hospital and be tested for carbon monoxide poisoning.

"She wasn’t in good shape, and she’s got her Leaving Cert exams coming up in a few days. She had to actually stay with a teacher because she couldn’t come back here to what’s left of the house.”

Connel says the entire second floor of the house was destroyed in the fire. The attic, which had been converted into a room, had equally been destroyed.

Between the fire itself and the water used by firemen, the whole house – which the Kings have lived in the past 26 years – has been devastated.

Unfortunately, the home wasn’t covered under home insurance. Connel’s disabled dad also lives at the family home.

The response to a GoFundMe page set up by the family has been “fantastic”, Connel says, and he is equally grateful to Bremore Educate Together Secondary School, which has been of great assistance to the family.

Connel says: “Everybody is alive, that’s the main thing. Everybody is fine – it’s hard for me to articulate this but it’s a tough situation and we’re alive and we’re going to do our best to get through it.” 

The Kings’ Go-Fund-Me page can be found at:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/family-support-after-home -destroye d-by-fire