Sunday, November 13, 2022

Stephen Maguire

A young Donegal boy has been left with burns after a phone charger caught fire in his bedroom and almost set his entire family’s home on fire.

Little Donnacha McCauley is lucky to have escaped with only burns after the terrifying incident at the family home in Ramelton earlier this week.

But for the heroic actions of his older brother Dualtach, 15, the situation could have been much worse.

Mum Nicola McCauley revealed how she put her 18-month-old son to bed earlier in the evening, and he was followed by his older brother at 11.30pm.

However, just before herself and husband Ryan headed to bed disaster struck.

Donnacha suffered burns after the phone charger caught fire.

She revealed “I heard a scream and then Dualtach shouted my name. He woke up when Donnacha cried and saw flames, so he jumped from the top bunk and pulled Donnacha out of the bottom bunk bed which was on fire.

“I screamed to get the rest of the house up and out and Ryan started pouring water on it. We luckily had a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, so I ran to get that.

“By the 30 seconds I was away the room was filled with smoke and flames which were getting bigger, but thankfully we were able to get the fire out at that stage.”

The couple rushed to Donnacha and found he had a number of burns and took him immediately to Letterkenny University Hospital.

Nicola and Ryan, who are originally from Letterkenny, commended staff who they tended to their young son immediately.

Nicola revealed “He has burns to his head, hand, toes, and leg but thankfully nothing too bad, and he is now home and lapping up the attention. His mattress duvet and sheet were all destroyed.”

The family returned home and found the cause of the fire in the boys’ room – a phone charger.

Nicola said that her late mother Bridget, who died in 2016, and her sister Theresa, who passed away this year must have had them in their prayers.

It was plugged into the wall not into the tablet, it must have overheated, and his mattress caught fire.

She added “We checked and seen the cause of the fire was a charger, a genuine charger, not a cheap one. It was plugged into the wall not into the tablet, it must have overheated, and his mattress caught fire.

“Mammy and Theresa must have been looking down on us when you see the damage to his pyjamas, duvet and mattress, he is lucky to be here and thank God Dualtach woke and had the sense to save his wee brother or it could be a far worse outcome.

“So please keep the charger off when not in use. Apart from a big shock and Donnacha’s burns we are all here alive and kicking and a hard lesson learned.”

Dad Ryan added that Dualtach, a third year student at Mulroy College in MIlford was a real hero.

He added “We wouldn’t want anything like this to happen to any other family. It was so close to being a real disaster. Dualtach was just amazing.”

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