Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Elderly woman dies in Belfast house blaze

Smoke alarm fitted in pensioner’s flat was not working

A pensioner has died after a fire broke out in her north Belfast flat where the smoke alarm was fitted but not working.





The 63-year-old woman was alone at her home in Mountainview Gardens, off the Upper Crumlin Road, when the blaze broke out on the ground floor of the property on Saturday night.

It was the second fatal fire in the area in recent weeks where a smoke alarm was in the building but not working properly.

Firefighters attended what they described as a “substantial blaze” at around 10.30pm on Saturday and managed to successfully |rescue the woman from her home. Group commander for the eastern area of the Fire Service, Alan Walmsley, said: “We attended the fire very quickly and used four appliances and a special support appliance from Lisburn during the operation.

“We rescued the woman from the fire with assistance from both the police and the Ambulance Service.

“One of our firefighters went in the ambulance with the lady but on arrival at hospital she passed away.”

Last month a woman, who was

also aged in her 60s, died in similar circumstance in a fire at her home in Chichester Park, north Belfast.

Commander Walmsley said a working smoke alarm can give people those precious few minutes of warning which could help them get to safety.

He said: “Unfortunately, the smoke alarm wasn’t working.

“We would appeal to people to test their smoke alarms every week.”

The fire at Mountainview Gardens is understood to have started accidentally.

A police spokesperson investigating the circumstances of the fire said there was nothing so far to suggest it was suspicious.

Belfast councillor Alex Attwood said his thoughts were with |the family circle and “close-|knit community” at this difficult time.

“This is another tragic death and my thoughts are with her family and friends,” he said.

“I would join the Fire Service in urging people to make sure they check their smoke alarms along with all the other safety checks needed around the home.”

For a free home fire safety check call 028 92600477, or visit www.nifrs.org for further information.

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