Two men who died in Cork fire named locally

The scene at the property at St Colmans Park in Macroom, Co Cork
The scene at the property at St Colmans Park in Macroom, Co Cork

A young man has been hailed as a hero for his desperate attempts to save three people from a burning house.

The young man, in his late 20s, defied smoke and flames to kick down the door of a property at St Colmans Park in Macroom, Co Cork after a house fire erupted shortly before 4am this morning.

Two people tragically died in the blaze despite the heroics of the young man.

A woman in her early 60s jumped out of a window of the house to escape the smoke and flames.

The two deceased have been named locally as Kenny Relihan (26) and Noel O'Mahony (62).

Mr Relihan is the son of the only survivor of the tragic house blaze, Noirin McAulisse (61).

Mr O'Mahony is a family friend who was staying at the house on Sunday evening.

Both of the deceased are from the Macroom area and were working locally.

Mrs McAulisse remains in a serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit of Cork University Hospital (CUH) where she is being treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.

A young man who attempted to save the trio was taken to CUH for the treatment of minor burns and the effects of smoke inhalation.

However, he was released from hospital a short time later.

Neighbours paid tribute to the incredible courage of the young man who first became alerted to the unfolding tragedy when he heard the sound of screams and shattering glass coming from the house across from his home.

Emergency services raced to the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised.

Macroom fire brigade units had the blaze under control within minutes.

Both deceased men were removed from the scene in hearses shortly after 6am.

The area was sealed off by Gardaí pending a full examination by the Garda Technical Bureau.

However, the initial indications are that the fire was a tragic accident.

Evidence of smoke damage was visible on all front windows to the property located at the rear of the St Colman’s Park estate.

Gardaí and fire brigade officials warned that it was too early to comment on the possible cause of the blaze.

It is unclear where the fire began but fire brigade experts are focusing on the kitchen and living room areas.

Neighbours awoke to the horrific realisation that two people had lost their lives just metres from their front doors.

“It is absolutely shocking. I couldn’t believe the news when I first heard it,” one local man said.

“The first thing some people knew about the tragedy was when they heard the gardaí and fire brigades arriving.”