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I wasn't leaving house blaze without Eva - hero

A HERO who saved a disabled pensioner from her burning home after an apparent arson attack has said he was not going to leave the house without her.

And despite receiving burns, he is more concerned for the woman he saved.

Colin Carter, who says he was "in a lot of agony", ran into the flaming house on Chord Road in Drogheda at 1am on Saturday after a passerby raised the alarm.

Stroke victim Eva Berrill, who is in her 70s, was asleep in a downstairs room as the house burned.


Her husband Ollie was in the pub across the road when the passerby ran in with news of the fire.

Colin was also there and ran over to the house with Ollie.

Ollie managed to get the front door open but it was Colin who forced his way through the flames to drag Eva out.

"I just did what I had to do. I had no choice - when I went in I wasn't going to walk out empty-handed," Mr Carter told the Herald from his hospital bed.

Mr Carter said he was in too much pain to talk about the ordeal, despite the local community calling him a hero.

"I appreciate that everyone is saying that, but she must be worse than me. I just hope the lady pulls through," he said.

Ollie Berrill has been keeping a vigil at Eva's bedside at St James's Hospital.

It's understood the frail mother-of-two, who suffered a stroke several years ago, is in an induced coma to repair the damage to her lungs due to smoke inhalation.

Gardai released three men they had arrested in relation to their investigation into the fire.

But gardai in Drogheda arrested a 26-year-old woman yesterday evening.

Eva, a former singer with a band called The Mountaineers, was on her own in the house at the time.

She was initially brought to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda but later transferred to St James's Hospital in Dublin.

Colin was also admitted to hospital for treatment to his back and neck.

Gardai also praised the actions of a Colin for his brave rescue of the woman. His actions "were essential", said the garda spokesman.