Fire brigade denies halting site blaze allegations

KILLARNEY fire brigade yesterday rejected claims its response to a fire in a halting site outside the town during Christmas was delayed because of a problem with opening locks on a barrier.

Local fire officer Paudie Mangan said it took the brigade four minutes to reach the scene of the fire. “There was absolutely no delay,” he added.

A Killarney couple and their three children, ranging from two years to seven years, escaped with their lives when fire swept through their two-room unit, at a halting site off the bypass road, shortly after noon on Monday.

Hughie and Helena O’Driscoll lost everything in the blaze. Emergency accommodation has been provided for them by Killarney Town Council.

Mr O’Driscoll was at home with the children when the fire broke out. He lifted the children to safety through a window before abandoning the building, leaving all the family’s possessions, even the children’s Christmas toys, behind.

Meanwhile, Killarney Town Council has asked its tenants to check ceilings in their houses for materials that could be a fire hazard.

Town clerk Michael O’Leary has sent a letter to tenants following a request from Coroner Terence Casey at an inquest last August into death of a local man in a council house fire.

Heat generated around an electric cooker, after a chip pan went on fire, caused ceiling material to melt and drip onto the floor and armchair on which the late Sean O’Keeffe was sitting.

Mr Michael O’Leary has advised tenants who have similar materials on their ceilings to remove them immediately because they are ‘serious fire hazard.’

More in this section