‘Horrifying’ ordeal for family during blaze

By Hayden Moore

THE MOTHER of a six-month-old baby has recounted the “horrifying” ordeal that her family faced after their homes were engulfed in “thick black toxic smoke” from a nearby industrial blaze.

Colberts Fort off the Belgard Road was struck with the dense smoke on Monday evening after a factory went on fire in the nearby Cookstown Industrial Estate.

Ellie May 02 1

Chris, Robyn, Ellie-May, Georgie, May and Kirsty who live in Colberts Fort Road

Ellie May Toner, who lives in a log cabin in her parent’s garden, found her son Georgie “lifeless” after leaving him for a short period of time to make him a bottle.

“We just didn’t know what to do,” Ellie May tells The Echo.

“There was this toxic smell in the cabin, so we started going around trying to block vents but the smell was still just filling the cabin.

“I ran in to flick on the kettle to make the baby a quick bottle and when I got back, he was just lying lifeless on the bed.

“I picked him up and just started screaming ‘Georgie, Georgie’.

Ellie May 01 1

Ellie-May and Georgie

“I called an ambulance and it took an hour for them to get there.

“My partner was saying to me that we just need to leave, but I didn’t want to go anywhere without him being seen to.

“He started to come around thank god but it was absolutely horrifying, it’s a night I’ll never forget.”

Dublin Fire Brigade attended the scene of an industrial fire at around 7pm last Monday night, with them issuing a warning to residents to close their windows as overhead winds drove the smoke in to local estates.

Members of An Garda Siochana moved to block the Belgard Road as visibility decreased massively for drivers, leaving resident’s in Colberts Fort to evacuate themselves.

Resident’s in the estate were shaken by the experience, including the Toner family.

“I was actually bathing my six-month-old at the time in my mams house,” Ellie May says.

“I just heard my mam pulling the blind and she started shouting ‘Liam, Liam! There’s a fire’.

“I wasn’t minding too much because obviously I was giving Georgie a bath but then we opened the door and we were just hit with this overwhelming smell of smoke.

“Then it started to turn into this thick black toxic smoke, you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face it was that bad. It really was frightening.

“My nanny lives next door and I just said to my mam that we need to get her out of here because she’s 88, she couldn’t be breathing that in.

“I rang the emergency services and they didn’t even know where Colbert’s Fort was, so we had to start trying to protect ourselves.

“We took it upon ourselves to evacuate because it felt like nobody even cared that we were trapped breathing these toxic fumes in, it was absolutely horrifying.”

The Toner family returned home briefly but the smell of smoke remains, so they are all staying elsewhere until it clears.

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