A couple from Liffey View in Newbridge are seriously ill in St James’ Hospital after their house went on fire last Wednesday night, June 26.
The married couple, Kevin and Catherine Brennan of Liffey View, The Barracks, who are in their late 50s and 60s, suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation in the blaze that gardai believe was started accidentally around 10.30pm.
Next door neighbour Willie Doyle, (85) whose house is attached to the couple’s, was in bed asleep when the fire broke out.
“I had gone up to bed around 10.15pm,” he told the Leinster Leader. “Then I heard my son Martin shouting ‘get up dad, get up the place is going to go’. Just as we got out, the windows all blew. I got an awful fright.”
Mr Doyle, whose terraced house was not badly affected by the fire next door, spent the night with a neighbour.
Newbridge town Cllr Damian Molyneaux is a nephew of Mr Doyle. “It’s frightening. They are very good neighbours,” he said, referring to the couple.
A number of neighbours gathered outside their own front doors last Thursday morning in the aftermath of the blaze, while local gardai patrolled the area.
One neighbour described the scene as “ferocious”.
Sergeant James O’Sullivan from Newbridge Garda Station confirmed that the fire started in the upstairs bedroom. “They both suffered serious burns and smoke inhalation and they are both critical at this moment,” he said.
One man said he saw the blaze from his bedroom window. “He [Mr Brennan] was outside trying to get her [his wife] out and his hands were burned. Three neighbours went in and pulled the wife down the stairs and got her out. Someone then got a saucepan of water for his hands. God love them, the house is gutted.”
- Paula Campbell