Latest: A Co Clare family have been left devastated after a father and son sustained serous burns at their home Friday evening, writes David Raleigh.
The two men, named locally as Joe Quinn, aged 89, and his son Seamus Quinn, aged in his 40s, were airlifted in two helicopters to Cork University Hospital (CUH), from their home in Meelick, south east Clare.
Gardai are investigating the shocking incident, but sources said they believed the incident was a “tragic accident”.
Joe Quinn accidentally fell into a fire was lighting inside the house at the time, reliable sources said.
Mr Quinn suffered “extensive burns” to his body and was in a critical condition in hospital.
His son Seamus also suffered burns having gone to his father’s aid.
His condition, whilst serious, was not thought to be life-threatening.
Neighbours expressed “shock” as news of the tragedy filtered through the small rural community.
Locals described Joe Quinn and his family as “quiet people” and “good neighbours”.
Mr Quinn, a former CIE worker, lost a son, aged in his 20s, in a motorcycle accident several years ago, neighbours said.
The Quinn's modest cottage style bungalow, in which Mr Quinn and his wife Alice reside in with their son Seamus, was not damaged in last night's incident.
The couple have three other children, neighbours said.
Several family members who rushed to the house later sat outside the property in deep shock.
Gardai were maintains a presence at the house last night and a garda forensic officer also attended the property as part of normal investigative procedures.
Four units of Limerick City and County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a 999 call about a “house fire” at 5.44pm.
When firefighters got to the scene they found Joe Quinn in a serious condition with extensive burn injuries.
Firefighters, gardai, and HSE ground paramedics, assisted crews from the Air Corps 112 Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) air ambulance, as well as the Shannon-based Rescue Helicopter 115 which transferred the two male casualties to hospital in Cork.
Paying tribute, a neighbour described Joe Quinn as "a good musician and entertainer" who in his heyday had "played the accordion and sang at venues around the country".
"He used to sing like Jim Reeves, and he's always been a good neighbour," they added.
Update 8.40pm: Two men airlifted to hospital with serious burn injuries following Clare house fire
Two men have been seriously injured after sustaining burn injuries at a house in Co Clare.
The two casualties, aged in their 80s and 40s, were airlifted to Cork University Hospital from a house, at Meelick Co Clare, situated near the Limerick border, by the Air Corps Rescue Helicopter 112 and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 115.
According to sources the older man sustained extensive burn injuries to his body after coming into contact with a fire at the house.
It is believed the younger man sustained burn injuries whilst trying to assist the older man.
Munster Fire Control received a 999 call of a report of a “house fire” at Meelick at 5.44pm.
Four units of the Limerick City and County Fire Service attended the scene, along with Gardai and paramedics from Limerick city.
Investigations are continuing into the circumstances of the incident.
Earlier: Two men have been seriously injured in a house fire in Co Clare.
The two men, said to be aged in their 80s and 40s, are being treated by paramedics near their home in Meelick near the Limerick border.
The Air Corp Res is Helicopter 112 and the Shannon-based Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter 115 have been deployed to the scene.
Four units of Limerick City and County Fire Service are attending the fire and local Gardaí are at the scene.