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Mum and girl (2) fight for life

A TODDLER and her mum were fighting for lives today after a fire gutted their home.

Sharon Gahan and her two-yearold daughter Maddie remain in a critical condition in hospital. Sharon’s three other children and their father Anthony Maloney also suffered serious injuries in the massive blaze.

All except Maddie jumped for their lives from an upstairs window at the rear of the house. The toddler – who survived heart surgery last year – was found hiding under a cot by gardai who risked their lives to save the two-year-old from the flames. Gardai are today investigating if the fire was started deliberately. Three gardai were being hailed as heroes after their involvement in a dramatic rescue at the house in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

Six people – two adults and four children – are being treated in hospital after the inferno at the house in Grange Crescent. Two gardai who were also treated in hospital have been released. Anthony Maloney and Sharon Gahan were hospitalised along with Kelly (13), Molly (7), Sophie (6) and Maddie (2). Local gardai Brian Craven and Vinnie Reynolds risked their lives, along with a member of the local Regional Support Unit, to save the life of the twoyear- old child.


It is understood one garda used a specialised torch to locate the child under a cot in the upstairs of the house which was consumed by smoke. Maddie is described as being in an “extremely critical” condition at Crumlin Children’s Hospital where two of her siblings are also being treated. A family member told the Herald: “Kelly’s on a life support machine at the moment because a lot of smoke is after going into her lungs. “They closed down her organs to put her on a life support so her heart wouldn't burst.”

Mr Maloney refused medical treatment at Mullingar Hospital in order to travel to Dublin with the little girls. He is expected to be treated at St James’ Hospital in the city.

Mum Sharon is also understood to be battling for her life at Midlands Regional hospital in Mullingar. It is understood that the gardai were alerted to the fire at around 1.50am. kfoy@herald.ie