Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Arson suspected after baby rescued from Derry flat fire

Police at the scene outside a block of flats in the Carnhill area of Derry where a fire in a communal stairway was discovered early on Friday morning. Pic Martin McKeown
Police at the scene outside a block of flats in the Carnhill area of Derry where a fire in a communal stairway was discovered early on Friday morning. Pic Martin McKeown
Several people have been rescued following a blaze at a block of flats in Londonderry

A baby and and a dozen other people have been rescued following a blaze at a block of flats in Londonderry.

The fire took hold in the Carnhill area at around 6.30am on Friday morning.

It's understood the blaze started in a communal area of the building.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) area commander Trevor Ferguson said: "The early indications are that this fire was started deliberately."

Among the those rescued was a 14-month-old baby, after the fire took hold in a communal stairway.

Police have said no one was injured and enquiries are continuing.

Mr Ferguson said the local firefighters were on the scene within minutes.

He added: "Fire crews were faced with a very difficult and potentially very tragic set of circumstances. There was a developing fire in the communal stairwell."

They used ladders to rescue a family including the one-year-old child and another man from flats on the first floor.

Five others were rescued using the internal stairwell by crews wearing breathing apparatus.

A further four occupants managed to escape the burning building before the fire service arrived.

Mr Ferguson has praised the actions of his team, which he said saved lives.

"This could have had potentially very tragic consequences. If it had not been for the prompt and professional actions of fire crews we could have been looking at a much more devastating outcome," he said.

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