Belfast Telegraph

Blaze rescue bid man - Now I’ve lost my home too

By John Mulgrew

A distraught man who bravely tried to save his neighbour who perished in a fierce blaze has been left homeless after flames spread to his own home.

Steven Mitchell (53) was speaking after the fire claimed the life of Albert Kane — a 64-year-old who lived alone at Bush Road between Ballymoney and Dervock in Co Antrim.

Mr Kane, who was a well known character in the area, died along with his pet Jack Russell terrier ‘PP’ after a blaze broke out at around 9pm on Tuesday evening.

Steven Mitchell was sleeping in his home on Tuesday night when another neighbour, Aidan Kelly, spotted flames and raced to the scene.

“Aidan was banging on the window and asked me if I had a torch, saying Albert's home was on fire,” said Mr Mitchell.

“We both went and tried the door but couldn't get in because of the flames and when we went round the back we still couldn't get in.”

He said the pair then “got a hosepipe but there was nothing we could do to save Albert”.

By that stage police had arrived followed by the fire service a short time later.

Mr Mitchell said it was a “terrible shame” and that Albert — who wasn’t married and lived alone — was a real character.

“He was a good neighbour and we had a lot of fun. I am missing him already,” he added.

But the ordeal did not end there as a short time later Mr Mitchell spotted flames coming from his own adjoining home.

“There is a large hole in the roof and the house is virtually destroyed and I am now homeless,” he said.

“I will have to make arrangements to live elsewhere.”

The fire service has said an investigation into the blaze is still continuing but it is not being treated as suspicious.

The tragic death of Albert Kane comes less than 24 hours after 78-year-old Sadie Ferguson was found dead at her home on the Dundrum Road area of Dromara after a blaze gutted the property.

Meanwhile, police have said they are treating a separate house fire in the Carnany Avenue area of Ballymoney in the early hours of yesterday morning as arson. No one was in the house at the time.

Belfast Telegraph

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