Family try to rebuild lives after blaze

Sinead Kelleher

Gardai and Tralee Fire Service are investigating the cause of a fire that caused severe damage to two family homes in Fountain Court in Tralee last week just hours before Storm Emma hit the county.

It was a situation that could have been much worse according to the resident of one of the homes, who said his whole family would have been in bed oblivious to the blaze had it broken out earlier.

Andrew Croshaw and his partner Emma, were at home in their rented property in Fountain Court (House B), having breakfast with Ruby (3), Isaac (4) and Jade (2) when Andrew spotted smoke out his window.

He went outside to investigate and saw smoke coming from the rear of the houses and he realised that the situation was serious.

Andrew told The Kerryman how he immediately ran back inside and grabbed the three children with Emma before the family fled the house, alerting the Fire Service to the blaze.

The house next door to Andrew's was also extensively damaged in the blaze and two other homes were damaged to a lesser extent. Thankfully the residents of the other severely damaged home also escaped the blaze without injury.

"We were standing outside just watching the flames. There was nothing to be done. All our clothes and toys were inside," said Andrew.

"I was just giving them their breakfast when I saw the smoke. Within 10 minutes our house was filled up with smoke.

"If it had been a half an hour earlier we would have been in bed."

Two units attended the scene from Tralee and Castleisland and got the blaze under control - but severe damage was caused to both houses, which is currently being assessed. Both kitchens were destroyed and Andrew lost his shed, tools and a bike in the blaze.

Recent photos of the children were lost in the fire as well.

"We are just lucky we got out. It filled up so quickly. I am glad nobody got hurt."

Andrew's mother, Tina Lipscombe, lives in Asdee and Andrew's brother-in-law James Purcell in Lisselton, has helped set up a Go Fund Me Page to help raise funds for the family as they try and rebuild their lives.

The family are currently residing in Asdee with Andrew's mother but they have been offered a rental home since the devastating fire, which they hope to move into.

The Go Fund Me page can be found under Help Andrew and his family on the Go Fund me webpage and on Facebook.