Man rescued from house fire in Galway after stand-off

Victim had barricaded himself inside house near Ballinasloe with can of petrol


Gardaí burst their way into a blazing house and took to safety a man who had barricaded himself inside with a can of petrol near Ballinasloe.

The gardaí took action after a seven-hour stand-off during which trained garda negotiators had attempted to talk the man out of the house in east Galway.

Today, the man was in custody being questioned about the incident which concluded in the early hours of this morning.

The drama began at about 9.30pm on Sunday when gardaí were called to the house at Kilconnell, near Ballinasloe.

A married man in his 40s had barricaded himself into the property and made it known that he had a can of petrol with him. Gardaí initially had to confirm that there was nobody else with the man in the house.

Because of the seriousness of the unfolding situation, garda negotiators were summoned from Dublin, the Regional Support Unit was called in, while an ambulance and the fire brigade also rushed to the Kilconnell address.

For the next seven hours, the negotiators attempted to talk the man out of the house, but he refused all requests to leave the property.

Just after 4am, flames were observed inside the house and members of the Regional Support Unit burst their way inside. They located the man who was unarmed and pulled him to safety.

Ballinasloe fire brigade immediately tackled the blaze and brought it under control.

The man was arrested and taken to Ballinasloe Garda station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

He was questioned today and his period of detention was extended earlier this afternoon.

A garda spokesman said that everybody was relieved that the incident at the house in Kilconnell had been resolved without serious injury to anyone.