Local couple rescued from city flat inferno

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Local couple rescued from city flat inferno thumbnailTHE scene of the blaze in Water Street, Newry on Saturday morning.

FIREFIGHTERS rushed to dramatically rescue a man and a woman from a Water Street flat set ablaze in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Fire and Rescue Service teams from both Newry and Warrenpoint were deployed to the blaze at the second floor city centre flat having been alerted by a 999 call from a member of the public at 6.48am.

Using ladders and wearing breathing apparatus, firefighters entered the flat and retrieved the male and female from the house, before handing them over to Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for at the scene treatment, after which they were transferred to Craigavon Area Hospital and Altnagelvin Hospitals for further treatment for smoke inhalation.

The male, who was transferred to Craigavon Area Hospital, was described as being in "a critical, but stable condition", whilst the female, at the time of going to press, was residing in Altnagelvin and reported to be "in a stable condition."

Local Newry and Mourne SDLP Councillor Michael Savage praised the Fire and Rescue Service for the swiftness of their response and for helping to avert a potential tragedy through their efforts.

Councillor Savage said: "This could very easily have ended up in a real tragedy and only for the efforts of the local Fire and Rescue team we could have been looking at potential deaths here. I understand that the two people involved have suffered smoke inhalation and I wish them a speedy recovery."

Mr Savage urged people to regularly test their smoke alarms and to be mindful and vigilant about making their homes as fire-proof as possible.

"Obviously the fire crews got there on time, got them out and the ambulance crew were able to deal with them on the scene, but I would echo the sentiments of the local fire chiefs, saying that people should make sure that their smoke alarms are checked regularly because they can be the difference between life and death.

"Only for the two appliances being there, alerting the fire service who brought it under control, this could have spread to other buildings. I understand that other residents had to be moved, so hopefully it'll not be too long before they're back and settled," said the Councillor.

Mr Savage added: "I expect that for those dwellings that are under the authority of Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), that a full and fair inspection will take place to rule out any issues with wiring in the place."

Commenting on the incident, a a spokesperson for Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said: "Firefighters dealt with a fire in a second floor flat. A man and a woman were rescued by Firefighters from the property and were taken to Daisy Hill Hospital. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The incident was dealt with a 7.53am.

"On Saturday morning there was a 999 call from a member of the public for Fire and Rescue Service to attend a maisonette fire on Water Street in Newry.

"Two pumps attended to the scene and firefighters, using breathing apparatus and ladders rescued one male and one female who were handed over to Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and currently both hospitalised, both suffering from respiratory distress."

The spokesperson said that an investigation is currently underway to establish the cause of the blaze, saying: "The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Fire alarm system in the property was actuating and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service(NIFRS) would advise everyone to ensure that they test their alarms in their homes for their own protection on a regular basis."


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