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Fire at Dublin women's refuge kills four

Cluainin Cronan Image copyright RTE
Image caption Emergency services were called to Cluainin Cronan at about 02:30 local time

A pregnant woman and three children have died following a fire at a women's refuge in Dublin.

The blaze broke out in the complex in Cluainin Cronan in Clondalkin at about 02:30 local time, gardaí (Irish police) said.

The woman, 27 and two children, aged two and three, were taken to Tallaght Hospital but were pronounced dead.

A four-year-old boy was treated at Crumlin hospital but later died.

Another woman in her 30s was taken to St James's Hospital.

Complex cordoned off

Insp Ken McLaughlin said gardaí were keeping an open mind as to the cause of the fire.

The apartment was on the first floor of a small complex next to the Grand Canal.

Seven residents of nearby apartments were moved out of their homes during the emergency.

The block of flats has been cordoned off.

Irish President Michael Higgins expressed his sympathies to those affected.

Speaking at a reception for International Women's Day, Mr Higgins said: "The women involved would have been represented here today.

All of our hearts must go out to these women and children."

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone said her thoughts and prayers were with all those affected by the fire.

Image copyright RTE

Domestic violence charity Sonas, which runs the supported housing in the complex, said it was supporting other families in the apartment complex and finding alternative accommodation for those unable to return to their homes because of fire damage.

"We are focusing on putting our own emotions aside and we are focusing on supporting the other families in this complex, around their emotional needs, but also surrounding their practical needs," Sonas chief executive Fiona Ryan told Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

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