herald

Sunday 21 December 2014

Friends rally around Christmas fire family

A Dublin community has rallied to support a family whose home was badly damaged when Christmas lights and a decoration sparked a fire.

Neighbours and local businesses have generously responded to the plight of Jean Murray (38) and two of her children, Shauna (11) and Robin (16), who had to leave their home for Christmas because of serious fire damage.

Shauna's school and a sports club have also given help to the family whose kitchen was damaged and the rest of their home extensively smoke-damaged when a Christmas star decoration burst into flames.



electric

"People have been great. I really know now that I live in a great community," said Jean.

The electric Christmas star that caught fire on December 16 was attached to a window at the family home in Clear Stream Court off McKee Road in Finglas.

The Christmas star was plugged into an electric extension cable leading to a plug behind a fridge.

Fortunately, a smoke detector was set off and Jean went to the kitchen where she saw part of the electric cable was in flames.

Jean and daughters Shauna and Robin managed to escape as smoke filled their home.

But the damage caused by the blaze has meant that they will be unable to return to their home for a number of months.

All their possessions were also lost because of serious smoke damage.

They were tenants of the Tuath Housing Association which found them a temporary home about 15 minutes away at the Royal Canal Complex.

Jean said neighbours fundraised to help the family.

Local businesses including Superquinn and Cleverboys donated hampers to the family for Christmas, while Shauna's school -- St Gabriel's in Cooper Street, Dublin 7 -- sent a donation of €250 to help replace Shauna's clothing which was destroyed by the fire.

Smithfield United also held a fundraising collection, according to Jean. "We are really very grateful to everyone for their support," she said.

The family's plight was highlighted by the Herald after Jean decided to warn others of the dangers of Christmas lights.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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