As many as over 7 billion people have survived a County Kerry house fire which saw owner-occupant, Mrs Agnes McGann, 73, die of complications arising from furniture combustion following apparent misuse of a cigarette last week.
The vast majority of the world’s population escaped unscathed when Mrs McGann, a widow survived by three children, fell asleep in front of the television while holding a standard, filtered, lit cigarette. Cigarettes, consumed through “inhalation”, must be “ignited” “at one end” using “fire” before being “smoked” through the “filter” at the “other end”. It is believed that “Mrs McGann” may have accidentally failed to extinguish the cigarette she had been smoking before drifting into a kind of unconsciousness called “sleep”, thus starting a fire that was somewhat larger than the one that is initially produced when lighting a cigarette.
Cigarettes can be lit using naked flames, some cooker hobs and many toasters. However, mature student Charlie Sheehey, 34, makes the claim that electric bulbs will not produce enough heat to light a cigarette in most conditions, although he admits that he hasn’t tried to ignite a cigarette in that manner since 1992.
Neighbour Mick Taylor, 62, also died in the blaze. Taylor passed away after alerting the emergency services by telephone and attempting to effect a rescue before a response came. Regarded as a local legend, Mick’s existence has since been verified through identification found in the wallet that was melted into his right buttock when his body was removed from what was left of the home.
In spite of the two deaths, the world population continues to grow apace. As recently as yesterday, Dolores Harbison, 19, gave birth to twins, Malaika, 0, and Crystal Meth, 0, in the Coombe Hospital, Dublin, effectively replacing Mrs McGann and Mr Taylor and adding to her brood of three (Consuela Biaz Cudden, 1, Piper Preston Harbison-Piskorski, 2, and Brittany-Leigh Harbison-al-Usaq, 34 months).