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Fatal fire horror that killed four started by a candle beside TV, say investigators


Annmarie O'Brien

Annmarie O'Brien

Biddy O'Brien

Biddy O'Brien

Jordan O'Brien

Jordan O'Brien

Holly O'Brien

Holly O'Brien

Local residents pay their respects. Photo: Arthur Carron

Local residents pay their respects. Photo: Arthur Carron


Annmarie O'Brien

The devastating fire which claimed the lives of a pregnant woman and three young children was caused by a candle, it has emerged.

Initial indications were that the fire at a women's refuge in west Dublin was caused by an electrical fault connected to the TV.

However, the Herald has learnt investigations into the tragic blaze at Kilcronan Avenue, Clondalkin, have since shown that the fire was caused by a candle situated close to the television in the living area.


Annemarie O'Brien (27), who was seven months pregnant, her daughter Paris (2) and three-year-old Holly O'Brien were all killed after the fire broke out at the accommodation.

Doctors battled to save the life of Jordan O'Brien (4), but he later also died.

Jordan and Holly's mother Biddy O'Brien, who was visiting her cousin Annemarie in the apartment at the time, has remained in a critical condition since the blaze.

She suffered extensive burns as well as smoke inhalation.

Family last night said they were hopeful Biddy would make a recovery after undergoing surgery.

Cousin Joanne Moorehouse said doctors were optimistic after she was treated for severe burns.

"She had an operation and came through it so we are praying now that it all goes well," Ms Moorehouse said.

"The doctors said they think she did well so we are praying now that it's all going to be grand."


Family and friends have continued to hold a bedside vigil for Biddy.

They held a short ceremony in St James's Hospital last night in honour of Annemarie and the three children who died.

Ms Moorehouse said a wake for the victims was due to take place tomorrow, while the funerals will be held on Monday.

"We're still in a very deep state of sadness and it's not getting any easier," she said.

The two O'Brien women were raised like sisters, although they were cousins.

They grew up in the Bray area of Co Wicklow, and in Shankill, south Dublin.

The bodies will be taken to Colliers funeral home in Bray tomorrow at 2pm and a prayer service will be held at 3pm.

On Monday, there will be one funeral for all four victims at 10am at St Ann's Church in Shankill. The burial takes place at Springfield cemetery in Bray.