Firefighters tackling the blaze at Fitzherbert Court.
A Navan family has lost everything following a devastating house fire that gutted their home at Fitzherbert Court last weekend.
The Navan community is rallying to help Tara Faulkner and partner James McGuirk as they attempt to rebuild their lives following the blaze, which broke out last Saturday at around 1pm.
A Facebook appeal has been launched which already has almost 2,000 'likes’ and a number of fundraising events have been organised to help the family.
Thankfully, Tara and her four children were out when the fire broke out and her partner, James, known as Seamie, managed to escape the blaze uninjured and raise the alarm.
Tara explained that Seamie was asleep on the sofa as he wasn’t feeling well when the fire started upstairs.
Their puppy dog kept biting at him to alert him until he woke up.
Tara said her four children were on a sleepover the night before and were not in the house. Tara was at work in Ben Garry’s Hair Salon in Navan at the time the blaze broke out.
When Seamie went upstairs to try to put out the fire, Tara said it just “exploded”. Thankfully, he made it safely out of the house and Navan Fire Service was alerted.
The fire was well ablaze by the time firefighters arrived and it took them around 20 minutes to bring the outbreak under control, though they spent four hours at the scene. Two units from Navan attended the fire and a unit from Trim was also called in.
The upstairs of the house has been completely gutted, leaving the family homeless and all their possessions destroyed.
“The whole upstairs is completely gone and the ceiling is damaged and falling down from the water damage,” said Tara. “We managed to salvage a few plates and we took out televisions but I doubt they will work,” she added.
They literally only had the clothes on their backs and Tara said she had been wearing the same clothes for three days.
Friends have rallied around and made donations of clothes and other items. Tara’s three oldest three, aged 5, 8 and 11, attend St Oliver’s Primary School and she said the school had been great in helping out with uniforms and books. Her youngest child is four and attends Mother Hubbard’s childcare facility.
Tara explained that they had been renting the property at Fitzherbert Court for two years and their main priority now is to find another suitable house to rent.
Meath County Council provided emergency accommodation in a B&B for two nights. The children went on a sleepover on Monday night and Tara and Seamie stayed with friends. The council did offer them one house but Tara said it was not suitable. They are now looking at other properties to rent in the town as they try to find a suitable house as soon as possible.
“Once I can get them in a house with somewhere to get their heads down, then I can work on the rest,” said Tara. “At the moment, all we have is three bags in the boot of the car.”
The Tara and Seamie Facebook Appeal set up by friends already has almost 2,000 'likes’ and many pledges of support with people offering donations of clothes, furniture, toys and more. Tara said Smyth’s Toys have offered to donate some toys for the children and SuperValu is donating a hamper.
The couple said they are very grateful to everyone who has helped them.
A fundraiser will take place in O’Flaherty’s Pub on Saturday night, 8th March, with music by Smithy Blues. Donations of prizes for the raffle are very welcome.
There will also be a bucket collection at the Sub Sound Sessions gig in the local Newgrange Hotel this Friday night for the appeal.
Tara’s good friend, Lisa, who runs the Hair Extensions Company, has organised a raffle, selling 100 tickets at €10. The winner will get a full pamper package which includes a full head of Spanish hair extensions, semi-permanent lashes, billion dollar brows and full set of nails, worth €350.
Anyone who wants to find out how they can help should see the 'Tara and Seamie Facebook Appeal’ on Facebook.