A two-year-old boy has been killed and his mother and brother left fighting for their lives after an early morning blaze.
Stacey Ellard was sleeping with her young sons Cian, two, and four-year-old Calvin when the fire broke out.
The alarm was raised at 4am on Sunday when smoke and flames were spotted from the property in Elm Park, Wilton, Co Cork.
Desperate neighbours who smashed a window and pushed open the front door tried in vain to save the young family before they were overcome by dense smoke.
Edward Buckley, of Cork City Fire Brigade, said crews extinguished an intense fire contained in the kitchen before they recovered the three in the same bedroom upstairs.
"All three were unconscious," he said. "They were sleeping when the fire broke out."
The three were given CPR at the scene before being rushed to Cork University Hospital, where Cian died.
Gardai said his mother and brother, who started primary school in September, remain in a serious condition.
Mr Buckley revealed while crews are prepared for fatalities, the death of a child is heartbreaking. "We are all parents and grandparents so it's very hard. There were a lot of sad men going home this morning," he added.
Forensic officers are examining the exact cause of the blaze, which is believed to be accidental.