A 90-year-old woman who had to flee her Killini home in Dublin south after a massive fire threatened her safety has described the ordeal as an “absolutely horrifying experience”.
nna O’Connor recounts how her son John asked her to pack a bag last evening when she saw flames on Gorse Hill behind their home on Glenlua Heights.
“He just came up to me in the living room and said, ‘You need to pack a bag, we have to go, there’s a fire and it’s coming closer’,” Ms O’Connor told the Independent.
Air Corps helicopters briefly spoke to Air Corps helicopters to douse the fire with large buckets of water.
“The fire was at the back of our line of houses, but as soon as I looked at it, I saw it coming to the point behind us. The flames were 20 feet high. It was horrifying, absolutely horrifying,” she explained.
“I had just done some shopping and I had a bag with my wallet, so I picked it up and we went out to the street where the neighbors were already gathering. After some time, six fire brigades and guards came here. We could not go back to our homes.”
The Gorse fire came within a few meters of a row of homes on Glenlua Heights and threatened to knock down a rockface on their decking and gardens, threatening the homes.
“The fire spread to the back of the houses,” said Ms O’Connor, who has lived in her home for 25 years.
“We were all thinking what to do. Some neighbors made us sit for the night and I had a very comfortable room with an attached one, but I couldn’t sleep well with the noise and anxiety.
“We were concerned about the fire spreading to all the houses and were keeping a watch on it. The local people were talented.
“Everyone was really helpful. It brought everyone together and I met people I didn’t know before. And the fire brigade were incredible. They were doing everything they could for us,” Ms. O’Connor, who will turn 91 next week. ,
“I have a daughter in Australia and she is used to drought and fire, but we are not used to them here.
“It’s usually very peaceful and idyllic here. It’s fortunate that we have the sea so close to us so helicopters don’t have to go far to pick up the water.”
The Air Force has poured several drops of water on the fire from 7.30 am today. Each “Bambi bucket” of water can hold up to 11,000 liters of water.
Fire brigade personnel were also present at the scene using water tankers as well as hoses from nearby hydrants to moisten the ground and prevent the fire from spreading.
A member of the fire crew said that the dryness of the ground and the pattern of wind rotation made the path of the fire unpredictable and variable.