Blaze destroys home of Newbridge family who lost son in drowning accident two years ago

Tom  and Helen Smyth outside their fire-damaged home in Allenview Heights, Newbridge.  Photo: Jimmy Fullam.
An appeal has been made for help to rebuild a fire damaged family home in Newbridge.

An appeal has been made for help to rebuild a fire damaged family home in Newbridge.

Members of the Smyth family - Helen, her husband Tom and son Richard (20) - had a lucky escape when their Allenview Heights house went ablaze on Monday afternoon last, September 1.

Sixteen year old daughter Shannon was in school at the time and their eldest son Tommy (26) was also away from the house when the fire started.

It’s understood that the fire may have originated from a lighted candle within the dwelling.

A visitor to the estate, John Paul Williams, who was meeting a resident of another house, kicked in the front door to 
ensure they got out safely.

Although the trio were taken to hospital in the aftermath of the incident, none of them was seriously injured.

Over two years ago Tom and Helen were tragically bereaved when their son Pa (Patrick), aged 22, died in a drowning accident after he went swimming with friends in a water-filled quarry known locally as the “Blue Lagoon” near Monasterevin.

But now the Smyths are left with a considerable financial headache because the detached home was not covered by insurance.

“Although they are lucky that the consequences were not more serious almost everything was destroyed in the house either by the flames or by smoke,” said Helen’s niece Sandra McDonagh.

The whole roof needs to be replaced and the house must be assessed because there’s a large crack in one of the walls which needs to be looked at,” added Sandra.

Plans will be made to stage a fundraising benefit night to generate much needed funds but for now the family is seeking the help of friends, neighbours or volunteers to help remove the heavy rubble from the site.

“Anybody who can offer materials, their labour or equipment would be very welcome and we’ll need to get a structural engineer to make an assessment about where we proceed from here. It’s only my opinion but I’d say we’re looking at a re-build,” added Ms. McDonagh.

A caravan was moved in on Friday enabling the family to live together (because they were forced to move in with relatives and friends last week).