A FAMILY, who were left homeless after a fire ripped through their city flat, want to thank the people of Dublin for gifts of money, toys and clothes received since their ordeal.
Malaysian nationals Wan Zamani, his wife Norfadilah and their three children Hafizi (7), Harraz (5) and Hakimi (3) were lucky to escape with their lives when a fire started at their Thomas Court flat in the early hours of last Sunday, January 5.
They could not escape the blaze because they were beaten back by fire and smoke, and had to stay in their home until rescued by Dublin Fire Brigade.
Four other people sharing the same building were also rescued. And to compound the distress of the Zamani family, they found that some of their children's toys had been stolen from their former home when they went back to get their possessions from the burnt-out flat.
A lock put on a strong door by their landlord to secure the property had been broken and thieves appear to have got in and looted the building.
The Zamani's story touched the hearts of many people around Dublin, who have donated money, clothes and vouchers to them to help them get them back on their feet.
"We are very thankful to everybody who has helped us, it means a lot to us to be able to give our children some new toys," Norfadilah told the Herald.
"The past days have been very hard and we are still trying to get somewhere new to live," she added.
The family are currently staying at a city hotel thanks to help from Wan's employer, but hope it will be a temporary situation.
"It is hard with the children because they don't have enough room to play, but we are very thankful to have somewhere to stay," Norfadilah explained.
After the fire happened Wan spoke of how he feared his whole family would die in the blaze after they became "trapped" inside their small bedsit as fire raged outside their front door.
Wan, Norfadilah and their three young children were asleep in their ground floor flat in the Thomas Court flats when they discovered the fire had taken hold outside their door at 3.45am. "There was nowhere to go – no way out. We just had to wait for the firemen to come and rescue us.
"I was panicking at first but then we tried to stay calm for the children," said Wan.