Fire crews hailed after fatal fire
Firefighters who battled in vain to save the life of a man in a smoke-filled flat have been hailed.
The man, who was in his 50s, died in hospital on Sunday night after being rescued from the blaze in Sydenham, east Belfast.
Fire personnel who attended the fire in the first floor flat on Station Road braved thick smoke to find and carry him from the burning building.
The fire, which was reported by a neighbour around 8pm when a smoke alarm sounded, is being treated as accidental.
East Belfast Assembly member Robin Newton passed on his sympathies and also paid tribute to the firefighters.
"I pay tribute to the Fire Service personnel who risked their lives in this situation to get the householder out of the fire," said the DUP MLA.
"Their bravery was not rewarded as unfortunately due to the smoke inhalation he later died."
Mr Newton urged people to take all possible fire safety precautions in their homes.
"This tragic incident reminds us of the dangers even in an environment in which we all feel comfortable in and take safety for granted," he said.
Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle said he was deeply saddened at the death. "This is a terrible tragedy and the family and friends of the man who passed away are in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time," he said.