AN IRISH rock band helped rescued more than a dozen people when a family home they were staying in dramatically caught fire.
Co. Kildare rockers Dissension Rising were on the road in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as part of a six-week tour promoting their latest e.p Retribution and were staying with an American friend when the blaze occurred.
In the early hours of Saturday, May 14 the band - all aged between 17 and 21 - and their management team awoke to the sound of smoke alarms.
They woke their American hosts and led them through thick smoke out of the part-wooden house on Newport Avenue, New Jersey.
Once outside singer Danni Carroll 18, lead guitarist Keith Garrett 21, drummer Kian Johnston 17, rhythm guitarist Rob Higgins 20, road manager Dorothea Carroll 57 and driver Justin Carroll 42 heard screaming from the basement apartment of the property.
A family of four adults and five children under five were trying to escape, and so the band accompanied by their driver and road manager rushed to help them exit the burning building.
Driver, Justin Caroll from Kilmeague, Co. Kildare told the Irish Independent: “It was getting hard to see and breath, but once we knew we had everyone who was in the house downstairs we ran out.
“But we didn't realise there was another family who lived in the basement until Danni shouted she could hear screams.
“It was chaos, but all the band wanted to do was help and get everyone out.”
Local media reports that 27 fire engines responded to the fire, which was under control within two hours.
There were no reported injuries but damage to property and belongings was estimated to be over £300,000.
The band, who have now returned to Ireland, are donating the proceeds from sales of their band merchandise to a fundraiser organised to support the families affected by the fire.