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LIMERICK TRAGEDY: DRAPERY ESTABLISHMENT ENGULFED, THREE LIVES LOST |

LIMERICK TRAGEDY: DRAPERY ESTABLISHMENT ENGULFED, THREE LIVES LOST

LIMERICK, Sunday. In a distressing incident that unfolded in the early hours of the morning, a fire engulfed a drapery warehouse owned by Messrs. Clancy in William Street, Limerick. The tragic event claimed three lives, adding a sombre note to the vibrant city.

The premises, situated in a congested district, witnessed the devastation as the flames took hold. The Clancy establishment, known for its extensive drapery collection, closed its doors around eleven o’clock on Saturdays. Mr George Clancy, the proprietor, and his assistants retired to their sleeping quarters on the third and uppermost floor.

The alarm was raised when, around one o’clock, onlookers noticed flames emanating from the rear of the building. By the time the fire was discovered, it had gained significant ground, virtually seizing control of the structure. The local authorities swiftly dispatched the Corporation Fire Brigade, accompanied by the Royal Engineers and the police.

A poignant moment unfolded as Mr George Clancy and his chief assistant, John Higgins, along with another individual, were spotted at the upper windows, desperately seeking assistance. With no fire escape readily available, a resourceful man named James seized a ladder previously employed for painters’ work on higher floors of William Street. With the aid of Police Sergeant Browne and others, he managed to rescue the two trapped individuals.

The Corporation Fire Brigade worked diligently to confine the fire to the drapery stores, successfully preventing serious damage to neighbouring houses. Despite their efforts, the flames entirely consumed the premises. Following the rescue of Mr Clancy and his assistant, the heartbreaking revelation emerged that three individuals within the burned establishment had lost their lives—Peter McDonnell, 28, an assistant; George Clancy, 14, the nephew of the proprietor; and Mary Daly, a servant woman.

Throughout the day, a dedicated search party tirelessly combed through the debris. As evening descended, two bodies were recovered, bringing closure to the anxious wait for families and loved ones.

The Limerick community is left in mourning as it grapples with the aftermath of this tragic event. The loss of lives and the destruction of the Clancy drapery establishment cast a pall over the city, prompting reflections on fire safety measures and the impact of such unforeseen calamities on the tight-knit urban fabric.

Dublin Daily Express – Monday 31 March 1913

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