CORK firefighters are being hailed heroes after risking their lives to save a man from a house fire at Bride Valley Park in Fairhill in the early hours of this morning.
Members of Cork City Fire Brigade arrived at the scene at 5.38am this morning equipped with breathing apparatus. After a search of the house, they identified a male in his early thirties who was subsequently rushed to hospital and is currently being treated for smoke inhalation.
The team had to endure harrowing conditions to locate the man in danger. The other occupant in the house-a teenage boy-managed to escape from the house before the crew arrived. He is also receiving medical treatment for smoke inhalation.
Second Officer at Cork City Fire Brigade, Victor Shine, said the situation could have turned out very differently were it not for the firefighter's swift actions.
"The 30-year-old, who was taken out of the house, had taken in substantial amounts of smoke," he said. "The teenager had taken in some but both were treated for smoke inhalation.
"There were large quantities of smoke coming from the building."
He said the incident reiterated the importance of smoke alarms.
"They always say that smoke alarms are very important because that's what your earliest warning sign will be," he said. "Alarms pick up the smallest quantities of smoke and potentially save a person's life. If you don't have that you are just waiting for smoke to come into that space.
Mr Shine praised the efforts and extreme bravery of his colleagues at Cork City Fire Brigade.
"The crew carried out a very professional job and returned another person safely to their family," he said. "Between road traffic accidents and the number of medical calls that we're doing with the cardiac units it's extremely busy. "There is always great satisfaction for the fire crews and management when a job has been done well. You train a long time for an occasion like this.
"Firefighters are the people putting their lives on the line. They are the ones waiting for that particular call where they can save someone's life or provide a service to make somebody more comfortable. This isn't just about saving a life. It's about giving back joy to families as well."
Corkonains have been showing their support following the event through social media. A number of people took the Cork City Fire Brigade Facebook page to congratulate the team including one supporter who said:
"Well done to our firefighters. You go to work every day not knowing what day you will have. You are amazing."
Find out more about fire safety here.