Residents' lucky escape after fire engulfs Ballymun homes
Residents in a Dublin apartment block were lucky to escape with their lives when a fire engulfed their homes last night.
The blaze broke out on Poppintree Parade near Ballymun in an apartment above a row of shops.
Witnesses at the scene said a mattress had caught fire in one of the apartments and the flames spread from there.
A stairwell at the back of the complex was extensively damaged as the fire spread through the building, with neighbours saying it acted like a chimney, drawing the flames higher.
One person was hospitalised after the fire and was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.
The incident occurred at around 8pm and was initially responded to by three fire engines.
However, a turntable ladder unit was later dispatched from Tara Street fire station to fight the flames from a height.
A district fire officer also went to the scene to oversee and direct the rescue operation.
A number of people had to be evacuated from the apartment using ladders.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Noeleen Reilly described the drama from her vantage point in a nearby apartment.
“I was actually in bed when there was a sudden commotion and when I looked out I could see people in the street and the fire trucks,” she told the Herald.
“But the back of the building was worse. The perspex windows just melted with the heat and caught fire, and the melting flaming plastic was dripping down into the lane below at the back of the shops,” Noeleen added.
A local witness recorded the flaming stairwell on a camera phone and the images show the melting windows flaming in their frames.
Another local woman who lives in the same apartment complex said she would be afraid now of what might happen if a fire started below her.