Dramatic new details have emerged of how Irish newlywed Zoe Holohan survived the Greek wildfire that claimed at least 88 lives and injured many others.
She was rescued first by a passing motorist whose car was full of children -- he had room for Zoe only in his vehicle trunk – and then by a fireman who snatched her from the trunk moments before flames engulfed the area.
Holohan, an advertising rep with the Sunday World newspaper, suffered some burns and is expected to continue her recovery in a hospital in Greece for up to two months.
Sadly, her husband of a few days, Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp, became separated in the rush to safety and died in the fire. His remains are expected to be returned to Ireland before the end of this week.
O’Callaghan-Westropp, 46, lost his only brother, Colin, 21 years ago in a motorcycle accident. Their father died when they were young and the brothers were reared in Co. Clare by their mother Rosemarie, who is grief-stricken at the tragedy of her only surviving son dying on his honeymoon.
O’Callaghan-Westropp, who ran a catering business in Dublin, was enjoying his honeymoon with Zoe, also in her forties, in Mati, a resort east of Athens, when wildfires swept through the region, causing a devastating loss of life.
More details emerged of their tragedy as the Sunday World reported the couple had fled their rented holiday home as the fire moved in. They couldn't start their car, so they took off on foot.
A driver motioned for them to get into the trunk of a car, which was the only space available. The car was stuffed with six children and three adults.
A firefighter who came upon the car later rescued Holohan from the trunk. She was given first aid treatment at the fire station and rushed to hospital in Athens.
The firefighter said that everyone in the car would have died in minutes had they not been rescued there and then, amid the intense heat.
O'Callaghan-Westropp had been lost somewhere along the journey. His body was formally identified later.
Here's a BBC report on the fires from last week: