Newry resident one of three people to die in house fires in eight days

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

NORTHERN Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is appealing to anyone who has concerns about home fire safety for themselves or their loved ones, to contact NIFRS for free home fire safety advice.

The appeal comes following the tragic deaths of three people in three seperate incidents in Northern Ireland inb the last eight days.

On Friday 30 April at 4.54pm, Firefighters were called to reports of a fire in a detached property on Forkhill Road, Cloughoge, Newry.

One Fire Appliance from Newry Fire Station and one from Newtownhamilton Fire Station attended the incident.

The fire was well-developed when crews arrived.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and using jets entered the property to extinguish the fire.

Tragically, a 78 year old male casualty was discovered in the property and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of the fire is believed to have been accidental ignition.

Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Paddy Gallagher said:

“On behalf of NIFRS I would like to extend my sincere sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased at this difficult time. In a period of just over a week we’ve seen 3 such incidents across Northern Ireland all involving people aged over 60.

“With COVID restrictions still in place preventing household visits it’s more important than ever that we check in with our older family and friends and consider their fire safety. This can be done safely via telephone, virtually or by calling outside their home or garden at a safe distance. Talk to them about their fire safety and remind them of the importance of testing their smoke alarm once a week, having a bed time fire safety routine, a fire escape plan and what they should do in an emergency.

“If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact us by calling our HQ on 02892 664221 or visiting our website www.nifrs.org. Our Firefighters will provide you with detailed advice and in some circumstances can visit the home of someone, using personal protective equipment, to carry out a free home fire safety check and fit a smoke alarm.

“We need your help to help us protect the most at risk in our community from fire. We must do everything we can to help STOP Fire. Remembering this simple slogan can help make us all safer – S is for Smoke Alarm, make sure you have at least 1 working smoke alarm on every floor of your home. T is for test those smoke alarms weekly. O is for obvious dangers, be aware of the common causes of accidental fires including smoking materials, electronics and cooking. P is for plan your escape – make sure you have an escape plan in the case of a fire starting.”

In 2019/20 there were 782 accidental fires in the home and 3 fatalities.

In 2020/21 there were 761 accidental fires in the home and 8 fatalities.

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