Firefighters praised for saving woman from blaze at home

Assistant Group Commander Mark Beresford (left) assesses damage caused by the house fire at Sandyknowes Park. ''INNT 06-022-FP
Assistant Group Commander Mark Beresford (left) assesses damage caused by the house fire at Sandyknowes Park. ''INNT 06-022-FP

FIREFIGHTERS who rescued a 61-year-old woman from a house fire in Glengormley last week have been praised for their life-saving actions.

Four fire crews from Glengormley and Belfast were called to the blaze in a detached house at Sandyknowes Park shortly after 2am on Friday (February 3).

A man and woman had initially escaped the property safely, but the woman went back inside the burning building to try to save her pet dog. She was overcome by fumes and had to be pulled from the upstairs of the smoke-filled house by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus.

Firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control, and the male householder and his wife were taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation. The dog also survived the incident.

The living room of the house was completely gutted, and the rest of the property badly smoke damaged.

Praising the firefighters who rescued the woman, Assistant Group Commander Mark Beresford said: “They did great work. She had been overcome by fumes, so they obviously saved the life of this woman by getting her out so quickly.”

North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley commented: “I wish to commend the Fire and Rescue Service whose prompt actions saved this resident whose life was very much in danger. We are all indebted to the bravery of firefighters in such emergencies.”

Meanwhile, Assistant Group Commander Beresford appealed to people never to go back inside burning buildings.

“Our message is get out and stay out and don’t ever go back inside for pets, handbags or anything else,” he stressed.

Echoing that point, local councillor Noreen McClelland added: “We must listen to the Fire Service when they say, once aware of a fire in your property, get out of the property and stay outside until they say it is safe to return.”