Family flee for their lives
A Wexford town family and their pet dog fled for their lives as fire swept through their home in Antelope Road.
'I'm just grateful that myself and my two children got out alive,' said Marie Phillips, standing outside her gutted home at No. 26.
'An hour later and we'd have been asleep in bed. We wouldn't have got out,' she said.
Marie said she was on the sitting room of her house at around 10 p.m. on Thursday when she noticed smoke.
'I thought the chimney was on fire.. I went outside to check and saw that the house was filling with more smoke. My son ran down the stairs and said his room was full of smoke as well,' said Marie.
As she was standing outside in her pyjamas with her daughter Jodie and son Jordan, a neighbour Marian Cullen arrived home from work and said she would go inside to investigate.
As Marian emerged from the house with Jordan, who had dashed back upstairs to get a blanket to smother what they had initially thought was a small fire, there was a loud bag and flames leapt out of the front door.
Five units of Wexford Fire Brigade attended the fire with the gardai and spent more than three hours at the house.
Marie said the fire appeared to have started in a press in her sitting room, although she doesn't know how it began.
'I was out on the street by 10 past 10 and by 20 past the whole house was up in flames,' said Marie, who had been living at No. 26 for the past 10 years.
She said the council had offered to find her a house in Ferndale later this week.
The fire, she said, had destroyed all the family's possessions.
'We walked out with just the clothes on our backs, but we walked out alive, that's the main thing,' she said.
Marian Cullen said that when she went into the house to see where all the smoke was coming from, she could see the press was glowing red'
'I had asked Jordan to get a blanket to smother the fire, but as he came back I told him to run. No sooner had we put our foot outside the door when the room exploded and flames came flying out everywhere.. you could hear the electric wires crackling before the big bang, we were very lucky,' she said.
'It was scary how fast the house went up.'
As the house was in flames, Jordan leapt over the back wall to rescue the family's pet dog Lexi who was in the back yard.
Marie's next door neighbours - Stevie and Mina Roche and Wayne and David Dempsey - suffered smoke damage to their homes as well, and have also had to move out of their homes.
Anyone able to help Marie and her family is asked to contact Marian Cullen on 087 6164540.