herald

Monday 22 December 2014

Woman dies in bedroom as heroes rescue her two friends from house fire

A Dublin woman died in a fire in Bray despite heroic efforts which saved the lives of her two friends.

Pamela O'Driscoll (73) died in a bedroom of the house which caught fire in the early hours of yesterday. She had been staying in the home of her friend Betty Dignam when the blaze broke out.

Two young men walking past the house at Waverley Terrace in Bray around 1.40am noticed smoke coming from the building. They broke into the house and managed to save the lives of the owner Betty Dignam and Tom May, who also lived there.

Today, next-door neighbours Bill and Marie Burke, both aged 74, told the Herald the young men are heroes for saving two lives of Ms Dignam and Mr May, both of whom are aged in their 80s.



Devastated

"They were excellent. They were heroes for managing to get Betty and Tom out of the house," said Mr Burke.

"We're all devastated about Pamela and what happened. Pamela was a lovely cheerful woman who was a very close friend of Betty's who often stayed for a few days with her," he said.

"We were asleep when the gardai and firemen woke us up to get us out of our home in case the fire spread. They put blankets around us and brought us out. We would see the really thick black smoke coming out of Betty's house." he said.

He said Pamela O'Driscoll was a close friend of Betty and "an angel" for being so kind to her. She lived in the Phibsboro-Glasnevin district of Dublin and was a regular visitor to Betty, he said.

Meanwhile, gardai are investigating a house fire in Co Waterford in which 88-year-old Paddy Tobin lost his life.

Mr Tobin, a bachelor who lived on his own, was found dead after neighbours noticed the fire at the house near Ballymacarbery, sometime after 10pm on Saturday.

It is understood he was alone in the farmhouse in Glendalough, Ballymacarbery, at the time and he may have had a gas fire in operation on the property.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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