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Neighbours 'in shock' as woman dies in fire despite bid to save her

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Gardaí at the house on Stannaway Avenue, in Crumlin, where Bernadette Hennessey’s body was found after a blaze

Gardaí at the house on Stannaway Avenue, in Crumlin, where Bernadette Hennessey’s body was found after a blaze

RollingNews.ie

Gardaí at the house on Stannaway Avenue, in Crumlin, where Bernadette Hennessey’s body was found after a blaze

A community was left devastated after a woman died in a fire as neighbours tried in vain to rescue her.

Bernadette Hennessey (59) died in her home on Stannaway Road, Crumlin, Dublin, on Friday evening while neighbours attempted to save her using a ladder propped against the front of the house.

Mrs Hennessey's husband was out at bingo at the time.

"People are struggling to understand what's happened," Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan said.

"They're in shock, heartbroken, over the loss of a neighbour. The poor husband wasn't there and now he's left on his own.

"It's just a terrible tragedy and some are wishing they could have done more but, of course, there was nothing more that could be done and everyone tried so hard to save the woman.

"It's frightening because it shows how quickly a fire can spread, and though we might expect house fires in winter or around Christmas, they can happen at any time.

"It's a very sad time for the area and my full sympathy goes to the family."

Mrs Hennessey's neighbour Zoe Gough told the Herald she'd climbed a ladder to the front bedroom window of the house but was forced back by the heat and smoke.

Ms Gough said she wasn't sure there was anybody in the house when the fire broke out at around 9pm but she climbed the ladder another neighbour had propped against the wall.

"I came out of my house because I could smell smoke and when I went around the corner I saw a group of men in the front garden and a ladder up to the bedroom window," Ms Gough said. "I didn't know there was anybody in the house at the time but we had to try to make sure there wasn't.

"The men in the garden were trying to kick the front door in and someone had put the ladder up against the house.

"Somebody said to call the fire brigade but before they arrived, I went up the ladder to make sure nobody was inside. But the fire and heat and smoke forced me back down."

Flowers

A relative of Mrs Hennessey said: "I can't believe what has happened. I don't know what to think."

Flowers were laid outside the property. Funeral arrangements are not expected to be made until after post-mortem results are released.

Gardaí stated the results will determine the direction of their investigation.

Officers are appealing to any witnesses to contact Crumlin Garda Station on 01-666 6244, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.