Monday 18 December 2017

Dad thanks hero for catching his baby as locals raise funds

Derek Healy and Charlene Murphy with baby Mila Murphy.
Derek Healy and Charlene Murphy with baby Mila Murphy.
Mark Furlong, pictured at The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.
Hero Mark Furlong (left) and Baby Mila Murphy with her parents Derek Healy and Charlene Murphy (right)
The scene of the fire at The Gloucester Place this morning.
The scene of the fire at The Gloucester Place
Firefighters in a hoist pictured at the scene of The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.

The dad who was forced to throw his baby to safety from their blazing home has thanked all of his neighbours and north inner city locals for coming to their rescue.

Derek Healy (26) said he was especially grateful to Mark Furlong (20) and his cousin Aaron (17) for being first on the scene of the inferno and saving three-month-old Mila.

Derek had to hold Mila out the top window of their three-storey home on Gloucester Place, off Sean McDermott Street, to save her from the smoke that was filling the building at 5am yesterday.

As Mark Furlong ran to help, Derek pleaded with him to catch the child while flames and smoke were engulfing the home. As Mark ran to the outside of the house, Derek threw Mila down and Mark caught her safe in his arms.

"Thanks to everyone for all the texts and mails. We're all doing ok," said Derek in a Facebook message.

"Thanks to everyone in the Diamond for all their help and the two lads who were on the scene first and helped us with Mila. Life savers X," he added.

The blaze broke out in the early hours of yesterday morning and six people, including another baby, had to jump or be rescued from the blaze as it engulfed the house.


Lola Murphy (2) - a sister to Derek's partner, Charlene Murphy - was also saved.

Derek, Charlene, little Mila and Lola remained in hospital last night. It is understood that Charlene injured her jaw jumping from the blaze while her mother, Edel, broke her leg.

Derek's grandfather, William Healy (86), said last night the whole family was so relieved.

"They will all make a full recovery in time. We are so glad the fella who caught Mila was intelligent enough to respond to Derek's shouts for help.

Derek's uncle, Alan Healy (47), said "fair play" to Mark Furlong who saved Mila.

"He is a hero. We all want to say thank you very much."

Messages of support have been flooding to the Gloucester Diamond area of the city and many young locals are being hailed as heroes for their brave actions where they put their own lives at risk to save the family from perishing.

Firemen are still attempting to establish the cause of the blaze.

Meanwhile, a massive fundraising drive has been organised by local representatives to help the Murphy family and Derek Healy.

They have lost all their possessions to the inferno and neighbours asked that the fund be set up so they could collect and raise funds.

"This is a terrible time for the family, made worse because this fire has happened in the run-up to Christmas," Lord Mayor Christy Burke said.


"Of course we are thankful that everyone got out alive but some of the family are facing surgery and a long road to recovery, and they have lost everything belonging to them," he added.

"With that in mind the local community has come together and we have set up a committee which is looking after re-housing the Murphys and their next-door neighbours as well as opening a fund for the Murphys," Mr Burke explained.

"The fund will be called the Gloucester Diamond Family Fund and we will issue a bank account number as soon as we get one," he added.


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