Thursday, July 06, 2017

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into establishing how the fire, in which a fire fighter was injured in Athy, last week started.

Firefighter Gavin Dunphy sustained injuries to his wrists and hands and underwent surgery at the weekend. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Derek Whelan of the Kildare Fire Service told the Kildare Nationalist that the firefiughter was doing well.

“He is in good form, he was transferred to St James Hospital where he had two operations on his hands on Saturday and he will be released in the coming days, possibly even today (Monday). He had fractures to his wrists and the surgery was to rectify that.”

Mr Dunphy received many good wishes and message on social media in the aftermath of the fire. He took to Facebook at the weekend to thank everybody for their messages of support. “Unfortunately I can’t reply straight away as it after taking me one hour to type this,” he wrote.

The fire service is co-operating with gardaí in the investigation as to the cause blaze.

The fire happened at 16 Canal Walk on the Stradbally Road in Athy shortly after 10am last Wednesday morning. Initial reports suggested that the alarm was raised following an explosion at the house, which is located just several hundred yards from the fire station in Athy.

A substantial amount of damage was done to the interior of the house which is home to Sonya McVeigh and James Ryan and their three children who escaped from the burning house.

On Monday morning the Garda Press Office said they had no update as to the cause of the fire.The Kildare Nationalist understands that a gas leak is not thought to have been responsible for the fire which is believed to have started in a downstairs room.

Jacqueline Moriarty lives next door at 17 Canal Walk and shortly after the incident took place she described what happened. “I head a noise around 10am and it was a sort of sparkling or crackling noise. Then there was a bang and I knew something was wrong. There was smoke coming from the house and it wasn’t long before the fire service arrived and got the situation under control. Unfortunately however a fireman was injured.”

Another neighbour Martina O’Brien of 26 Canal Walk told the Kildare Nationalist that this was the second house within Canal Walk to experience this type of incident in recent years.

“My house went on fire in December 2012, I jumped from a top window and broke two heels at the time. The fire brigade came up and an investigation was carried out but no cause for that fire was ever found. I would call on the council to check all of these houses to ensure that it wasn’t gas that caused this.

There are 27 houses owned by the local authority in the estate.

Meanwhile there has been a very positive response to an appeal for items of clothing for the family who lost all their possession in the fire.

Cll.r Thomas Redmon put out an appeal on social media for items of clothing and household items for the family.

“The appeal is going well, a substantial amount of stuff has been collected and at the moment I think we just need a few items of clothing for the man of the house and a few toiletries as well. The family are delighted with the clothes that have been donated and wish to thank everyone for their generosity,” said Cllr Redmond.

The family is currently being housed in a hotel in Carlow.

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By Noel O'Driscoll
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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