Woman killed in Enniskerry house fire

Mother passed girls out of upstairs window to neighbours but was overcome herself

The scene of a house fire  in Monastery Grove Enniskerry in which a woman died and two children were injured. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The scene of a house fire in Monastery Grove Enniskerry in which a woman died and two children were injured. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 01:01

An investigation is underway into the cause of a house fire in which a mother of three died in the early hours of this morning.

Neighbours said the woman whom they named as Jackie Murphy passed her two teenage daughters out of an upstairs window, assisting them to jump into the arms of neighbours, before she herself succumbed to the effects of the blaze.

The two girls aged 15 and 13 were taken to hospital where they were treated for minor injuries. Family members were this morning attempting to contact Ms Murphy’s third child a 20 -year- old who is abroad.

The semi detached house at Monastery Grove on the outskirts of Enniskerry village on the Dublin Wicklow border, was completely destroyed by the blaze. As fire fighters dampened down the ashes this morning the roof was missing and only the walls remained. Upstairs partition walls had been burnt away while on the front lawn, next to the family car, the wire remains of a mattress were visible.

Such was the intensity of the blaze that the roof of the adjoining house was severely damaged and Wicklow County Council was assisting the family to move out today.

Neighbours said Ms Murphy was a separated woman whose ex-husband lived abroad. Her mother Ann works in the local post office and shop and was said to be being treated for shock.

Neighbours said they understood the family had been awoken in the early hours of the morning by an noise like an explosion in the downstairs part of the house. Attempts to reach the front door were not successful and the family retreated upstairs.

The fire spread rapidly and neighbours who made an effort to get inside the property were beaten back by the heat and flames.

Gardaí said it was too early to say what had caused the fire but it is understood it is not thought to be malicious. As neighbours arrived throughout the day yesterday many left flowers at a police cordon near the garden wall. “It is an awful, awful tragedy,” one neighbour said.