herald

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Five escape death in suspected arson attack on killer's family

The family of a convicted double murderer and his tiger-kidnapping gang father have been targeted in an apparent arson attack on their Crumlin home.

Five innocent people, including a woman and a young girl, were forced to jump for their lives after what gardai believe was a malicious attack on their house at Captain's Road in the early hours of this morning.

Neighbours described hearing screams coming from the house after the blaze broke out at the front door at 2.40am, in what gardai say are suspicious circumstances.

murder

Elizabeth Curran, who is in her 40s, her 21-year-old son Paulie, her 16-year-old daughter Chloe and two teenage boys escaped with their lives after they jumped from an upstairs bedroom window to the front garden below.

They suffered injuries believed to include broken bones, burns and smoke inhalation.

Elizabeth's eldest son David is currently serving life for the double murder in February 2008 of two Polish men, Pawul Kalite (28) and Mariusz Szwajkos (27).

He and his accomplice Sean Keogh, who got four years, were jailed after the two victims were killed with a screwdriver in a street attack in Drimnagh.

Elizabeth Curran's partner, Michael McGuirk, was last year jailed for nine years for his part in a tiger raid in which a Dublin bank manager's husband and two small children were held hostage in a van.

He pleaded guilty to the robbery at Bank of Ireland in Inchicore on October 23, 2009, in which more than €200,000 was taken.

Gardai are investigating the alleged fire attack in which the victims were lucky to escape with their lives.

Today a next-door neighbour described the sequence of events around the blaze that ripped through the house on Captain's Road.

"I was actually up at that stage and heading up the stairs with a mug of tea when I heard the smoke alarm going off next door," said the man.

"I didn't heed it at first but when I got upstairs I heard Liz screaming next door so I ran down and out the door. I could see the fire was at the front door and there was thick smoke everywhere," he added.

"At that stage all five people in the house had jumped into the front garden but there was some confusion because one of the lads thought there was someone still in the house," the neighbour told the Herald.

"I tried to get into the house but the wall of smoke was like a punch in the face," he added.

"Then we found out that everybody was out and the emergency services arrived. Liz had an injured leg and arm, two of the lads seemed to have had burns and they were all suffering from the smoke," he explained.

"In the end they all had to go to hospital," said the man.

Gardai sealed off the scene and today began a forensic examination to determine the cause of the blaze, but early indications are it was arson.

gutted

The house was gutted in the fire which started in the hall, leaving no form of escape for the occupants who were asleep and could not get down the stairs, forcing them to jump for their lives.

Five units of Dublin Fire Brigade and five ambulances attended the scene, rushing the injured to Crumlin and St James's Hospitals.

Dublin City Council sealed up the property with metal grilles today after the garda forensic examinations were completed.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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