Belfast Telegraph

Dublin man who rescued baby from burning building left searching for somewhere to live

By Laura Larkin

A heroic Dubliner who rescued a toddler from a house fire has been left searching for somewhere new to live.

Tommy Lawler (42) was living in a flat on Mountjoy Square when a blaze broke out, destroying many of the apartments in the buildings.

Mr Lawler, who lived on the ground floor, was able to escape through his back window and then rescued the little girl using an abandoned couch.

The fire broke out in the basement of the apartment building on February 23 and quickly spread through three buildings. Eight people had to be rescued by fire crews.

Mr Lawler who managed to escape shortly after the fire broke out told his story to Joe Duffy on RTÉ's Liveline on Wednesday.

On the morning of the fire which broke out around 7am he was preparing his lunch for the day.

"The alarm went off, I smelled something I thought it might have been smoke and when I opened the door a rush of smoke came in," he said.

"I grabbed my coat, my wallet, my passport and my phone and I left through the back window. My flat was on the ground floor at the back of the building so it was easy for me to get out.

"I got on phone straight away ringing the fire brigade and then I heard screaming," he told Independent.ie

"There was a couple in the flat above mine screaming 'help us, help us we can't get out and we have a child with us'."

Thinking on his feet Mr Lawler used an abandoned couch as a makeshift ladder to reach the window, where a couple and their little girl were trying to escape.

The couch was unsteady when he reached the window.

"The mother and father dropped the child into my arms straight away," he said.

After some maneuvering with the toddler, who was beginning to panic Mr Lawler managed to bring them both to safety on the ground.

"Out of the other buildings a couple came out and I handed the baby to the woman and said 'get her out of here quick'," he said.

He and the baby's dad, who had climbed out of the window were then able to help the baby's mum.

They then escaped to safety through one of the adjoining buildings.

All of Mr Lawler's belongings were destroyed in the fire.

"The place was destroyed... everything was gone either destroyed by fire, smoke or water had to tear down the walls in my flat," he said.

Mr Lawler, who is a mature student, is now struggling to find a new house and is staying with his sister.

The saturated housing market means he is competing with too many other house-hunters in any place he views.

Irish Independent

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