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Brave paramedic battled to reach dad-of-six in fire

A PARAMEDIC kicked in the door of a flat and crawled on his stomach through thick black smoke in an attempt to save a man who perished in a fire.

Neighbours of Thomas Flood, a father of six who died in the blaze in the flat at Constitution Hill in Dublin 7, today spoke of the terrifying incident.

A neighbour who lived with his wife and child on the floor above Mr Flood's flat said he was woken up by an alarm at about 2.40am on Sunday .

He said: "I didn't know where the sound was coming from. I went onto the balcony and looked around I couldn't see any smoke. I went back to bed."

About half an hour later he smelled burning and called the fire brigade. Minutes later an ambulance arrived.

One of the paramedics kicked in the door and crawled on his stomach but couldn't get any further than the sitting room.

"You couldn't see anything because of the smoke," the neighbour told the Herald.

Dublin Fire Brigade extinguished the blaze and found the body of the dead man, known in the area as "Pongo".

He is understood to be from the St Attracta's Road area of Cabra and had been living alone in the Dublin City Council flat.

He is the fourth occupant of the flat to die in the past number of years.

Mr Flood's body was brought to the Mater Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A post mortem is to be carried out.

Gardai are investigating the cause of the blaze.