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Man hailed as a hero after catching baby thrown from top window of blazing house

A THREE-month old baby had to be thrown from the top window of a blazing house in Dublin city centre this morning.

Local man Mark Furlong (20) was hailed a hero after he caught little Mila Murphy when her father was forced to drop her from the three-storey building.

Six people were injured in the inferno as it swept through the home on Gloucester Place, off Sean McDermott Street, just after 5am.

As the blaze ripped through the terraced house, Mila’s parents had to leap from the building.

Neighbours, including Mark Furlong’s 17-year-old cousin Aaron, ran into the back of the house to rescue the other family members, including a two-year-old girl.

Five units of Dublin Fire Brigade fought to bring the blaze under control and stop it spreading to adjoining homes.

Those who were rescued were Mila Murphy (three months) and her parents Charlene Murphy (26) and Derek Healy (26).

Also taken to hospital were Charlene’s sister Lola (2) and brother Gary (17), as well as her mother Edel Murphy.

Edel was the last to be taken from the raging fire, and as neighbours dragged her out the back door the windows were blown out on top of

them.

The injured adults were taken to the Mater Hospital, while the children were taken to Temple Street.

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Mark Furlong, pictured at The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.

Mark Furlong, pictured at The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.

Firefighters in a hoist pictured at The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.

Firefighters in a hoist pictured at The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.

The scene of the fire at The Gloucester Place

The scene of the fire at The Gloucester Place

Firefighters in a hoist pictured at the scene of The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.

Firefighters in a hoist pictured at the scene of The Gloucester Place Fire this morning.

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.

Charlene is understood to be the worst injured having broken her leg and hit her face in the fall to the ground after she

was forced to jump from the house.

Neighbour Mark Furlong told the Herald how he was first alerted to the fire.

“I could hear someone screaming for help, and at first I thought someone was after having their phone robbed so I ran up to the corner and then I saw the flames and smoke coming from the house,” he said.

“I ran up and I could see a man in the top window holding the baby out the window at arm’s length as the smoke poured out around them,” he added.

“He shouted ‘catch the baby’ and just as I was getting there he dropped her. I had to clear a wall at the front of the house to catch her,” he said.

“My heart was pounding. I just thought of nothing else except catching that child,” Mark explained.

Another neighbour, Wayne Kearns, said Mark was a hero for what he had done.

“You’d want to have seen him. Tommy Bowe has nothing on him, the way he caught the child and cradled her downward in his arms so she wouldn’t get a jolt or anything. He was pure magic. He saved that little one’s life,” he said.

Wayne himself, and Mark’s cousin Aaron, ran to the back of the blazing house knowing that there were more people in the building.

Meanwhile, Charlene and Derek jumped from the upstairs windows.

There is a sloped tiled roof at ground floor level on the house, and Charlene suffered a broken leg and broken teeth as she fell awkwardly onto it.

“The bone was sticking out the back of her leg, it was awful, but at least everyone is alive,” said one neighbour.

Aaron Furlong told the Herald how he and Wayne pushed Gary and Lola Murphy over a garden wall and into a neighbours garden when they got them out of the house.

“Then as we were getting Edel out the door the windows all blew out and I was thrown against a wall in the blast. It was incredible that nobody died,” he said.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke praised the local residents for their bravery in saving the six from the fire.

“The community is devastated, but they can be proud of what they did here this morning, especially Mark,” he said.

“The council now have to house three families because the houses on either side of the one that was destroyed were also damaged at roof level,” he added.

Third officer John Guilfoyle, of Tara Street Station, said the building was well alight when they arrived at the scene.

“We always worry when a fire breaks out at that hour of the morning because everyone is usually asleep and it is easy

to be killed by the smoke ,” he said.

“Whoever was in this house was lucky to escape before it was too late,” he added.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known and an inspection of the building was due to take place when the last pockets of fire in the attic were extinguished.

Fire crews used metal poles to break the slates off the roof to ensure that no fire remained in the roof space.

As daylight broke the terrible damage to the house could be plainly seen, with the top two floors gutted by the fire.

The roof tiles of the neighbouring properties could be seen to be damaged by the fire and their roof structures and attics were due to be inspected today.


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