Further evidence heard in Bray fire trial

A Bray fireman who pulled the second of two deceased colleagues out of a burning building said he still thinks about him opening his eyes.

Further evidence heard in Bray fire trial

A Bray fireman who pulled the second of two deceased colleagues out of a burning building said he still thinks about him opening his eyes.

The trial has also heard that there were only six fire fighters were available to go to the blaze despite it being judged as requiring at least twice that number.

Brian Murray (aged 46) and Mark O’Shaughnessy (aged 26) died fighting a blaze at a disused ink factory at Adelaide Villas in Bray on September 26, 2007.

Wicklow County Council, which runs the fire service, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four charges relating to alleged criminal breaches under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, between September 1, 2005 and September 26, 2007.

Firefighter Ronan O'Sullivan said he and two other firemen lifted Mr Murray out of the burning building.

He said: “We left Brian down on the ground outside. To this day I thought he was going to open his eyes. That was never gonna happen.

“I was taking my breathing apparatus off me, I looked around the two lads were on the ground. I remember thinking why isn't someone looking after them?

“I went over to them, I was right next to Brian. I just knew at that stage he was dead.”

Mr O'Sullivan told Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, that during his two week recruit training and other training courses he didn't receive any instructions on risk assessment.

He agreed with Aileen Donnelly SC, defending, that he now is a fully trained firefighter but disagreed that he was in 2007.

He accepted that part of his training involved recognising danger signs in a compartment, or closed space and how to escape from such a fire.

He said that a drill night that took place after the delivery of a new foam system engine in mid 2007 only involved “playing around with it”. He agreed the new engine was used in a number of incidents including car and bin fires before the fatal fire in September.

The former Station Officer of Bray Fire Station, James Maguire, told the jury that when the alert came in there were only six people available to attend the fire including himself.

He said he had no idea if any other fire fighters would show up so he made the decision to deploy with six in one fire engine. He said from experience he thought such a fire would require two fire crews as it was in the middle of Bray in a built up area.

The trial continues before Judge Desmond Hogan and a jury of seven men and four women.

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