Dublin man describes horror after getting trapped on balcony with pregnant wife during Tallaght high-rise fire

Dublin man describes horror after getting trapped on balcony with pregnant wife during Tallaght high-rise fire

A MAN has spoken of the terror he and his pregnant wife went through after they became trapped on a balcony during a building fire in Dublin last week.

Victor Macraig was with his wife Almarie and friend Kristian in a fifth floor apartment when a fire broke out at the neighbouring Glashaus Hotel in Tallaght.

After the fire alarm in their building went off twice, they spotted smoke rising from a window below them, and immediately tried to evacuate.

However, they quickly realised escape was impossible as the fire exit was completely filled with thick smoke.

"We tried to exit through the main door and go through the fire exit, which was just a few steps away from our door," Victor told Dublin Live.

"But when we opened our main door, what shocked us was complete blackness.

"It was pitch black and the thickest smoke you could imagine. It smelled of rubber and it was nauseating. We were all covered in soot. Kristian had his phone flashlight on and it couldn't even penetrate the smoke."

Realising they had no where to go, the trio retreated to the balcony and started shouting for help. And as if the situation wasn't frightening enough, Almarie was 14 weeks pregnant, and Kristian was asthmatic.

"We saw a lot of people had already evacuated," Victor added.

"Kristian and I started dialling 999. People kept telling us to go out the fire exit but we kept telling them we couldn’t because it was blocked.

"We were suffocating and the smoke was starting to creep into our apartment. We would keep looking back into our apartment and we could see it was just pitch black.

"And then we heard children’s voices from next door and our neighbours were also stranded.

"They probably tried to do the same thing as us and realised they couldn't escape through the fire exit. I was so worried for the kids but thankfully their dad was with them."

By the time the fire engines arrived, the three of them could barely breathe. They urged the firefighters to send ladders up to them so they could escape, but they weren't long enough.

"We could see the huge fire in the reflection on the other building... then we heard loud thuds and we were wondering what was happening. We kept thinking we were going to be burnt to ashes and maybe they would find our bodies hugging each other."

The thuds turned out to be firefighters trying to break through the doors, who brought with them an oxygen tank, and news that a crane was on its way to rescue them.