Fire bri­gade de­lay is strongly de­nied

May 1998

Bray People - - NEWS -

CLAIMS that it took eight phone calls to per­suade the fire bri­gade to an­swer a call in Wick­low have been strongly de­nied by the county coun­cil.

The niece of Kath­leen O’Brien, whose home at Seacrest was gut­ted in a blaze on Thurs­day night, went on to claim that it took be­tween half- and three-quar­ters-of-an-hour for fire fight­ers to ar­rive at the scene.

But County Sec­re­tary Brian Doyle said that while, in fact, there were twenty calls re­ceived re­port­ing the fire, the bri­gade had re­sponded im­me­di­ately to the first one.

‘ The first call was at 8.11 p.m. from a child and we alerted the guys here at 8.12 p.m. They left the sta­tion at 8.18 p.m. and ar­rived at 8.21 p.m.,’ he said, adding that in the in­terim pe­riod, a fur­ther nine­teen calls were logged at the con­trol sta­tion in Bray.

Mr Doyle went on to stress that all calls made to the fire ser­vice are taped to en­sure there is a record in the event of ques­tions be­ing raised.

A heart­bro­ken Kath­leen O’Brien, sit­ting, Fri­day morn­ing, on the steps of the shell tha was her home of six­teen years, pointed to two small boxes of items, all she had man­aged to sal­vage from the build­ing. It was the sec­ond tragedy to be­fall her in less than a year.

‘My mother died eight months ago,’ she said, adding that in the blaze, she lost all me­men­toes of her mother, as well as of a brother who died ten years ago.

‘Ev­ery­thing of value is gone. Pho­tographs, ev­ery­thing. I have noth­ing only what I have on me,’ she said.

Among the items com­pletely de­stroyed was a trea­sured tea set, worth over £400, which a rel­a­tive had bought as a present in In­dia.

‘I was only af­ter do­ing up the kitchen and the din­ingroom and two of the bed­rooms,’ Miss O’Brien said. ‘I had a new car­pet, bought two weeks ago, and it was still in a roll. I hadn’t even put it down.’

There was no one in the house when the fire started.

‘I was over in my brother’s house when this young fel­low came in and said there ws smoke com­ing out of my house,’ Miss O’Brien re­called.

She ran home, opened the front door and was im­me­di­ately greeted by flames which ap­peared to be com­ing from the din­ing room. She closed the door, but within min­utes, the flames had en­gulfed the house.

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