Couple ‘Lucky to be alive’
Tuesday, 31 December 2013
A MAYOBRIDGE couple have said they are lucky to be alive after electricity cables smashed through the roof of their house, setting it on fire.
Peggy and Jim Coulter, who are 78 and 86 respectively, were sleeping when the cables from a nearby substation tore through their St Anne's Terrace home, causing electrical sockets in the house to explode.
“We were lucky to get out alive," Mr Coulter said.
The couple's son Jimmy, who was watching television in the living-room when the house was hit, said the impact was terrifying.
“There was a massive bang, then darkness," he said. "The sockets at the back of the TV blew clean out of the wall and the wires went on fire."
Jimmy helped his parents escape as fire took hold of the house. The blaze ravaged the roof space, quickly spreading to the neighbouring property as well. Extensive damage was caused to both properties.
Speaking to the Democrat, a Fire Service spokesman described the situation as "challenging".
“It was a weather related incident, with high winds causing nearby cables to fall onto the roof of the house, igniting a fire. At its height we had 25 crew tackling the fire, which had spread to the next door property as well. It took about an hour-and-a-half to bring the situation under control."
No-one received serious injuries but both Peggy and Jim, their son and two neighbours were treated at Daisy Hill Hospital for shock and smoke inhalation.
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