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I was sure we were going to die – blaze dad

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Wan Zamani with his wife Norfadilah and his sons from left, Harraz, 5, Hafizi, 7, and Hakimi, 3, the family escaped from a fire in their flat on Thomas Court in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers

Wan Zamani with his wife Norfadilah and his sons from left, Harraz, 5, Hafizi, 7, and Hakimi, 3, the family escaped from a fire in their flat on Thomas Court in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers

Wan Zamani with his wife Norfadilah and his sons from left, Harraz, 5, Hafizi, 7, and Hakimi, 3, the family escaped from a fire in their flat on Thomas Court in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers

A BRAVE father has spoken of his frantic attempts to save his children's lives after they became "trapped" inside their small bedsit as fire raged outside their front door.

Wan Zamani said he feared his whole family would die when he saw they had "no way out" after a blaze – which destroyed all their possessions – erupted in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He told how he and three young children, were asleep in their two-bedroom ground floor flat in the Thomas Court flats when they discovered the fire had taken hold.

Mr Zamani was woken by his wife when she heard the sound of footsteps outside their front door at 3.45am.

 

SCARED

"She said the footsteps might be a burglar and she was very scared," he told the Herald.

"I said it's nothing and went back to sleep. A few minutes later she woke me again and said there was a sound of burning.

"I looked out the window and saw lots of flashing lights from the fire brigade."

The fire spread around the entire building in just three minutes flat and the Zamani family – originally from Malaysia – were lucky to escape.

"We were the last people left. I smashed the window at the front of the house to get some air," Mr Zamani said.

"I held my three children in my arms and lifted them [up to the window] as high as I could so that they could breathe.

Dublin city firefighters managed to cut through security bars on their windows to free the family.

"We were waiting about five minutes but it felt like a long time," Mr Zamani said.

Mr Zamani's wife Norfadilah said it will be some time before her children, Hafizi (7), Harraz (5) and Hakimi (3), fully recover from their ordeal.

"We got the children together in the room and we just had to wait there until somebody rescued us," she said.

She said once the children realised what was happening they suddenly went "very quiet because of the shock".

"They couldn't believe what was going on. There was a huge flame directly outside our room, and that was blocking our way out," she said.

 

PANIC

"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.

"Thankfully we were saved in time and they didn't take in too much smoke into their lungs, so they're fine."

Speaking through an interpreter, she added that the children are still fearful about fire.

"One of the children still thinks that there's a big flame outside the door where we are at the moment," she said.

They have been informed it will take three weeks before they are re-housed in another part of the city.

Mr Zamani's employer has provided the family with temporary accommodation in a city centre hotel.

Mr Zamani moved to Ireland over eight years ago and said he was "deeply traumatised" by the ordeal.

In total, nine people were saved by firemen and alert neighbours.

An adult and two children were living on the top floor of the house and a ladder was used to reach them.

Another woman jumped to safety after climbing out a window on the first floor onto electrical wires to escape the smoke and flames.

hnews@herald.ie


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