Woman died in fire after helping her family to safety

A young Cork woman raised the alarm to evacuate her family from their burning home before the smoke eventually overwhelmed her causing her to die .

While coroner Frank O’Connell recorded a verdict of accidental death due to smoke inhalation yesterday at the inquest into the death of Stacey Dunlea, 22, he said the cause of the fire, which started in her the deceased’s bedroom, could not be definitely determined.

Ms Dunlea died following the fire at her home on New Cork Rd, Midleton in the early hours of July 5, 2014.

Midleton Coroner’s Court yesterday heard Ms Dunlea was found in her brother Christopher’s room.

Woman died in fire after helping her family to safety

Kenneth Lynch of the Cork County Fire Service said they were called to the scene at about 3.30am, by which time visibility in the house was poor due to thick black smoke. They were told that while the family had fled the house, Ms Dunlea remained upstairs.

They found her lying face down, parallel to the bed in her brother’s room. She was brought outside where efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.

Dr Margot Bolster, the deputy state pathologist, said the deceased did not suffer any burns. Tests showed she had 44% concentration of carbon monoxide in her blood. Coupled with the alcohol in her system following a night out, it could have contributed to confusion which in turn could have led her to go back into her brother’s room before she passed out.

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