Community and businesses rally to help Cork family after fire rips through their home

They are currently staying with a family member
Community and businesses rally to help Cork family after fire rips through their home

Carol Delea with her sons (from left) James Hyde and Richard Hyde and daughters (from left) Sarah Hyde and Laura Hyde. The little Island community has been rallying around them since their house was destroyed in a fire

A Cork family has said they are overwhelmed with gratitude for the wave of support they have received since a fire ripped through their childhood home.

Sarah Hyde told The Echo her mother Carol Delea and brother Richard were at home at 3am last Wednesday when an electrical fire broke out. Initially trying to contain the flames with a blanket, Richard was forced to abandon his efforts after the device that sparked the fire exploded. He called his mother who was asleep in bed at the time before they made their escape outside.

The pair raised the alarm with Carol’s brother-in-law, who in turn phoned emergency services. However, Richard returned to the residence after realising their two dogs — Max and Podge — were still inside.

Sarah, who lives in Blackrock, praised her brother’s bravery.

“He tried to burst open the back door but that didn’t work, she explained. 

“In the end, he smashed the glass using a potted plant. He was sure the dogs were dead because they were both out cold. Luckily, they were both okay. Richard had been so worried about our mum that he only remembered afterward that the dogs were still inside.”

She described how her mum and brother were forced to leave everything behind after being rushed to hospital. They are currently staying with a family member, with Carol recently returning to work despite the ordeal.

“We told her that she could take a break if she wanted but she insisted that she wanted to go back. All she wanted was to wear the bag and coat she normally brings to work so she could have some kind of normality. We were able to wash them but they had been so damaged by all the smoke.”

Neighbours look on in horror after the Hyde family's home in Little Island is ravaged by flames
Neighbours look on in horror after the Hyde family's home in Little Island is ravaged by flames

Sarah said that she and her siblings, Richard (33) James (28) and Laura (30) have always been close to their mother.

“Mum took care of us as a single mum of four. Growing up we kind of learned to be strong but I still think about how difficult it must have been for mum. She has always been such a strong woman."

She recalled how emotional Carol found returning to the scene.

“It was really hard going back in there. Every single inch of the house is covered in blackness. Mum was in tears as she picked everything up off the floor. We kept telling her it was okay and that everything can be fixed.”

Almost €10,000 has already been raised for the family by the community through a Go Fund Me page organised by Little Island Community Association. Funds raised will go toward the construction costs required to rebuild their home.


“We have always been the family who never asked for anything,” Sarah said. “Everyone just came out saying they wanted to show their support in any way they could.

“We never doubted how great Little Island is but I never imagined there would be this much kindness. I would like to thank everyone including the Little Island Community Association who started the Go Fund Me for us. We are so grateful to those who donated and helped us.

“Some of these people we’ll never be able to thank because they donated huge sums of money anonymously. Richard has some amazing friends too. They have been sending him vouchers and going out to buy him new clothes as everything he had was burnt away.”

Businesses have also been donating to the family, including Pat MacDonnell Paints who are providing paint for the house and D-Tops & Tiles situated in the Eastgate Retail Park in Little Island.

Carol’s other daughter Laura is currently living in Australia but hopes to make it home to see her family as soon as possible.

“Under normal circumstances, she said she would have been on the first flight over to be with us but that’s not possible at the moment. She’s going to make it over to us as soon as she possibly can.”

Richard has been seeking medical assistance in hospital for burns to his hands.

However, Sarah said that — overall — the family was lucky.

“I’m so grateful to know that, even in the future, my mum will always been surrounded by such amazing people. We are so lucky to have the support of such a great community.”

To donate to the Hyde’s Go Fund Me page visit here.

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