House fire leaves families homeless

By Aideen O'Flaherty

TWO families had lucky escapes after their homes in Ard Mór in Tallaght went on fire shortly after midnight on Saturday night, July 14, with both families managing to flee their houses without sustaining any serious injuries.

Rachel Keane was asleep in the upstairs back bedroom of her house, with her six- and one-year-old sons, when she was awoken by the sound of crackling and heard her neighbours banging on the front windows of her house telling her there was a fire.

Rachel Keane with her two young sons last year

Rachel Keane with her two young sons last year

Rachel, who is a mother of seven, four of whom lived with her in the house in Ard Mór, two of whom were at home on the night of the fire, told The Echo: “I was asleep but I heard crackling, and when I opened my eyes the room was bright orange and my neighbours were knocking on the front windows of the house.

“Everything went up in seconds.”

Ms Keane added that she and her two children managed to get out of the house with the help of their neighbours.

Next door, Sonia Lacey, who works as a care assistant, was at home with her partner John McQuillan and their two teenage children.

Fire was spreading

When their 19-year-old daughter was going to bed shortly after midnight, after watching a film with her mother, she reached the top of the stairs and alerted her family to the fire that was spreading across to their house.

Ms Lacey said: “I’d just finished watching a film with my daughter, and she went upstairs to go to bed and then screamed, ‘Mam, there’s a big orange light’.

“I saw it rising up towards the window and over our back-garden fence.

“We didn’t know what was going on. John broke down my son’s bedroom door, because it was locked, to get my son out and then we all got out.

“We were just standing there looking at the house burning, it was awful looking at it.”

facebook In Stream Square Ard Mor Fire 2final

The house on fire in Ard Mór

Both families, who had lived in their respective houses for the past 18 years, then stood outside while their neighbours helped them.

Units from Dublin Fire Brigade and Gardai attended the scene, and they were then transported to a local hotel shortly afterwards.

I’ve lost everything

Reflecting on what happened, Ms Keane said: “I’ve lost everything, I’ve lost 18 years of my life.

“I’m grateful that my children are alive, and I know that all the things that were in the house can be replaced, and I know the things I lost weren’t worth much, but they were of immense value to me.

“When I went up to see the house the day after, all I could do was cry. All that was left was a half-burnt communion photo of my son.”

Ms Lacey said: “You always think that these things happen to other people, you never think that it will happen to you.

“I think it’s hitting all of us now.”

The community has gotten behind the two families by donating clothes and also donating to two separate Go Fund Me accounts that were set up for each family by their relatives.

Both of the homes were owned by the housing association Respond, which both families have praised for their assistance, and, while the families are still staying in a local hotel, they are hopeful that they will be rehoused in the coming weeks.

While it is not yet known what caused the fire, a Garda spokesperson told The Echo: “The scene has been technically examined. The cause of the fire is unknown at present but investigations are continuing.”

Prev Amazon seeks Grange Castle land worth €23m
Next Warning on bogus waste collectors
  • Ryan Baker from Clondalkin took part in a radiothon for Focus Ireland on Radio Nova
  • Teacher Larry ‘the best ever’ retires after 37 years at school
  • Echo Sports 2020 January Team of The Month - Griffth College Templeogue
  • January 2020 Sports Star of the Month – Ellen Walshe
  • Inspiring The Future Ireland

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.