Newbridge family offer thanks for help in wake of fire

A family whose house was nearly destroyed by a fire recently have thanked their friends, family and the kindness of strangers for helping them out.

A family whose house was nearly destroyed by a fire recently have thanked their friends, family and the kindness of strangers for helping them out.

Helen and Tom Smyth and son Richard (20) had a lucky escape when their Allenview Heights house went on fire from a lighted candle on Monday afternoon, September 1 last. A passerby John Paul Wiliams noticed the blaze and knocked the door down to alert all inside to make their escape.

“Last week we didn’t even have a bed to sleep in,” said Helen, whose daugther Shannon (16) was at school at the time while another son Tommy (26) was also away when the fire started.

“People have been great, friends and family have helped me out. We were all over the place but it is much better now I have a caravan parked in front of the house. It is the basic things you need in life, somewhere to wash, to sleep and a change of clothes.”

The roof of the house now needs to be replaced and a benefit night will be held on Friday, October 3 in Judge Roy Beans to help raise the funds needed.

“I’m hoping we raise enough so we can get a new roof or part of it,” she added. “Even if we can get back into the kitchen before the hard winter comes. We are lucky we have our lives - a house you can buy again.” Helen, who tragically lost her son Patrick (22) in a drowning accident two years ago in a water filled quarry near Monasterevin, added that the family have been inudated with kindness since the fire. “My son walked out of my house one sunny day and he never came back,” she added. “I have been waiting for him and I think my son was trying to tell me to start living again, Sometimes it takes something bad for something good to happen. There is so much love around us since this happened.”