Accidental death verdicts on Cork brothers

Thursday 24 January 2013 19.49
1 of 2
Stacey Ellard pictured with her son Cian, who died in the blaze
Stacey Ellard pictured with her son Cian, who died in the blaze
Calvin Ellard Punch died three days after the blaze
Calvin Ellard Punch died three days after the blaze

A jury has returned verdicts of accidental death in the cases of two young brothers, who died following a fire at their Co Cork home in 2011.

Four-year-old Calvin Ellard Punch and Cian, two, died after the blaze in Elm Park, Sarsfield Road, Wilton.

The inquest heard that the blaze is believed to have started in a cooker in the kitchen where the grill had been left on.

Stacey Ellard's mid-terraced home filled with thick black smoke two hours after returning from a night out on the October bank holiday weekend.

Ms Ellard and her two young sons were trapped in an upstairs bedroom.

Two fire crews used breathing apparatus to enter the house and rescued the family.

All three were unconscious and were brought by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.

Cian was pronounced dead there and his older brother died in hospital three days later.

Both deaths were due to smoke inhalation.

At their inquest today, neighbour Sharon Collins described banging on the front door of the house, after her daughter was awoken by Ms Ellard's screams for help.

Patrick Fox broke down the door and tried to get upstairs, but was forced back by the smoke.

Gardaí and the fire service gave evidence that the fire appeared to have started at the cooker in the kitchen, where the grill was found switched on to number five.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said it was a tragically simple sequence of events.

She said it was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions for the family.

The jury returned verdicts of accidental death.