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Friday 20 October 2017

Arsonists who left mum in coma after attack on family 'hit wrong target'

Gardai at the scene of the fire in Tyrone Place
Gardai at the scene of the fire in Tyrone Place

An arson attack on an Inchicore flat that left a mother fighting for her life and her three children injured may have been a case of mistaken identity, gardai believe.

Detectives suspect the intended target was a young man who lives in a separate flats complex in the south inner city.

He is believed to owe a debt to a dangerous local gang.

It is understood the man, who is aged in his 20s, had previously visited the area where the attack happened.

CCTV footage obtained by gardai shows the door going up in a "fireball" and a suspect fleeing.

Inferno

No arrests have yet been made in the case, which is being investigated by Kilmainham gardai, and no suspects have been identified.

Images from the flats complex at Tyrone Place, as well as footage from neighbouring streets and the wider Inchicore area, are being trawled through as detectives try to track movements to and from the first-floor landing.

The blaze broke out at the front of the Dublin City Council flat occupied by Maggie Green (30) and her children John (13), Francis (8) and Savannah (7) at about 11.15pm on Monday.

Ms Green, who was upstairs with the two younger children at the time, became trapped when the hallway and stairs were turned into an inferno, possibly after something was ignited through the letterbox or inside the door.

As thick black smoke filled the flat, eldest son John managed to get out on to a back balcony because he was sleeping on a couch in the living room.

He was rescued by neighbour Greg Bolger, who had a ladder in his van.

Mr Bolger had to use a neighbour's bolt cutter to break open the lock on a metal grille that enclosed the balcony.

Ms Green is in an induced coma in the Mater Hospital suffering from extensive burns and the effects of smoke inhalation.

Francis, who is known as Francie, suffered extensive burns to his upper body and is in a serious but stable condition in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, having also inhaled smoke.

Burns

Savannah suffered burns to her hands and the effects of smoke inhalation.

John escaped serious physical injury but is said to be traumatised by what happened.

Yesterday there was a sombre mood in Tyrone Place as residents tried to come to terms with the horrific incident.

Amanda Power told how she was in the flat with Ms Green just two hours before the fire.

"I left around half nine and went to bed around 10 o'clock, and then one of the neighbours woke me at around 11 to tell me Maggie's flat was on fire," said Ms Power.

"Hearing that someone did this deliberately has us all in shock.

"My child doesn't want to stay here now and slept in their nana's house last night.

"I just hope whoever did this is caught."

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