Fatal fire horror that killed four started by candle

by Padraig Conlon
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[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]An inquest into the tragic deaths of a woman and three children in a fire in Clondalkin last year was told the blaze was caused by a tea light.

Annemarie O’Brien, 27, who was eight months’ pregnant, her two-year-old daughter Paris, four-year-old nephew Jordan McGinn and 22-month-old niece Holly O’Brien, all died from smoke inhalation following a fire in Cluainin Cronan facility on Kilcronan Avenue, Clondalkin on 8 March 2017.

Verdicts of accidental death were returned at Dublin Coroner’s Court last week for all the deceased.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard the seat of the fire was located on a shelf under a TV in the living room.

Annmarie’s sister Biddy O’Brien, who was the only survivor of the blaze and mother of two of the children, told the inquest that she visited Annmarie every week in the supported accommodation apartment in Clondalkin.

She arrived at the apartment before Annmarie on March 7th, 2017 and after staff let her in she cleaned the apartment, burned rubbish in the fireplace, bathed the children and made porridge for them.

Annmarie, who had been told earlier that day that was to get her own home, arrived back from a hospital appointment at 6.30pm.

Forensic expert Paul Collins, who told Dublin Coroner’s Court he discovered a number of tea lights in the debris of the fire, said he believed hot gasses from the tea light rose up and set fire to the television.

He also gave evidence that two of the three fire alarms in the apartment had been disabled with the batteries removed.

Biddy O’Brien, told the court that there were no tea lights lighting on the night of the blaze.
Two other residents from the refuge also gave evidence.

Firefighter Keith Conroy of Dublin Fire Brigade described how when he entered the apartment, he saw a child either sitting or standing on the back of a couch.

He said that when he picked the child up and removed them from the building, he could hear breathing.

Garda David Sheffield from Clondalkin Garda Station told the court when he arrived at the scene he saw members of the Fire Brigade removing children from the apartment who were covered in soot and appeared lifeless.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned verdicts of accidental death for all who died in the fire, including Annmarie’s unborn baby AJ.

“The very fact of going through so many verdicts in relation to tiny babies, it’s very moving.

“I offer my deep condolences on your tragic loss,” the coroner said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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