Man in 40s dies following house fire in Rathmines

Deceased understood to have been staying on the top floor of Grove Park period house

An Irish man in his 40s has died following a house fire in Rathmines on Thursday morning.

Dublin Fire Brigade attended a fire at 34 Grove Park just after 7am. Three people were taken to St James's Hospital from the scene and the man in his 40s was subsequently pronounced dead.

The other two people remain in hospital and are understood not to be seriously injured. Dublin Fire Brigade said the cause of the fire is not yet known, while a postmortem on the man’s body is due to be carried out.

The period house, which contains three floors, is understood to be divided into eight flats. The fire is believed to have broken out on the middle floor, and the deceased man is understood to have been staying on the top floor. Residents said they believe there have been about nine people living in the building.


Banging on his door

A resident who lives on the top floor said he was woken by a neighbour banging on his door. “When I came out the smoke was already over my head,” he said.

“The smoke was totally black, you couldn’t see. The clothes I’m wearing are not even mine. I had my pyjamas on,” he said.

Another resident who lives on the ground floor said he realised a fire had broken out after the windows above his flat were blown out.

“Obviously you hear fire alarms all the time, but the windows at the back just blew out - and that’s when I knew it was serious,” he said.

“The whole apartment [on the middle floor] was just gutted with flames...It’s just absolutely tragic, it’s awful.”

Neighbours on the street arrived at the scene just moments before Dublin Fire Brigade with ladders for residents to escape.

“They [neighbours] put them up to the top windows and they managed to get two people down from the top left window,” one local said.

‘Very distressed’

“People were obviously very distressed. They had no idea what was going on I suppose. They were just walking up and down [the street] panicking and screaming. When the people came down the ladder, the emergency services had arrived and they started their work.

“I saw the guy that died - they were doing CPR on him for quite a long time. He was non-responsive. It was very harrowing.”

Gardaí kept the scene cordoned off on Thursday afternoon. They passed out some possessions such as mobile phones and jackets to residents of the building.

One resident said he was unsure whether he would be allowed back into the building on Thursday evening and was hoping to stay with friends nearby. Others said they would stay with family.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times