A SOUTHSIDE man has been praised for his bravery after he risked life and limb to save his girlfriend from a house fire in Kennedy Park.
Dermot Kelly, 52, of Walnut Court, jumped into the blazing home of his partner Brigid Dillon, 44 and pulled her from the flames of the house in Walnut Court.
She was unconscious, and Dermot had to enter the house twice before finding Brigid.
“I couldn’t find her at first. The smoke was too bad. I had to come back out, take another deep breath and go back in. I practically fell over her in the corner of the room,” Dermot said.
The fire started on Sunday night around 7.20pm when a burning Christmas candle fell onto a blanket which she had fallen asleep over.
Neighbour Stacey Tully, 25, who called the fire brigade has hailed Dermot a “hero” - but he said she is the one who should be taking the praise because it was she who alerted both himself and the emergency services to the incident.
“I just did what anyone would do in the same situation. If Stacey hadn’t seen the smoke or the flames in the window, Brigid would have been dead because I would not have known anything.”
Stacey spotted the smoke when she and her friend Chloe
O’Connor, 20, set out for Tesco to buy some groceries for her mother Rose, who was getting ready for a 50th birthday party.
“We saw smoke, so we panicked, and ran down to Dermot’s house. I told him the house was on fire. He came out. While he was running in, I telephoned the fire brigade, while Chloe rang an ambulance. Dermot went and pulled Brigid out. He is a hero,” she said.
Stacey said she had never seen as many people outside their house. “There was four fire trucks, there were crowds outside the house, fire trucks, ambulances and the Gardai,” she told the Limerick Chronicle.
“She will be alright, thank god. But she was unconscious when she came out: It was scary.”
Dermot said when he first entered the blazing house, the effect made him feel like “something hit me in the chest”.
Following the incident, Ms Dillon, who was born in Carew Park, was taken to hospital after sustaining smoke damage to her lungs. She is believed to be in a stable condition.
Three units of the Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service were deployed to the house at after the alarm was raised at around 7.20pm.
The fire was brought under control within 20 minutes but the fire service remained at the scene until shortly before 9pm as a precaution.
While gardai at Roxboro Road are investigating the cause of the fire, foul play is not suspected.