Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Holywood shocked at death of wheelchair user Carson Quinn and dog in fire

By Allan Preston

Tributes have been paid to a Co Down man who died in a house fire on Saturday morning.

It's understood Holywood man Carson Quinn, a wheelchair user with spina bifida, was in his 50s.

He had been at home on his own when the fire started.

His pet dog died with him.

Emergency services were alerted to the blaze in the East Link area shortly after 9am, with firefighters having to break the front door down to gain entry.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but extensive forensic investigations have since been conducted.

Yesterday, a bouquet of flowers was tied to the garden fence of Mr Quinn's home while smoke damage was still visible through the windows.

A spokesman for Mr Quinn's landlord, Habinteg Housing Association, which provides accommodation for a number of people with disabilities in the area, said it was "deeply saddened" to learn of his death.

He added: "Carson was a well-respected member of the local community and a tenant of the association. We would like to express our sincere condolences."

Neighbours said yesterday they were stunned by Mr Quinn's sudden death.

Alison Hill (55) said Mr Quinn was originally from Dundonald and had lived in Holywood for the past 10 years. "I grew up with him, he was a good friend. I remember playing together when we were young," she recalled.

Trevor Boyle (67) said: "It just came out of the blue. He was a wheelchair user like myself, so there could have been problems evacuating as he lived in the house on his own.

"I knew he had spina bifida and went to Mitchell House school (a co-educational special school for children with physical disabilities) when he was younger.

"It's really shocked everyone in the area. He was a very quiet man who kept to himself," he added.

Alex Caldwell (64) commented: "It's unbelievable, absolutely horrendous. There's a definite lull in the area. I've lived here 10 years and I've never even heard a car alarm go off."

He added: "There were three fire engines and I could smell the smoke in the street."

Iris McKimm (75) said: "I heard some noises at 2am in the morning. It's very shocking to think it happened just next door, it's very sad."

Ken Russell, who lives facing the bungalow, said: "It's very sad, especially coming up to Christmas. There was a wee dog that died with him as well."

On Saturday, Caroline Watts told the Sunday Life that her neighbours had noticed the windows blackening.

"Then they realised it was smoke, so they contacted the fire brigade who came out to the house and unfortunately had to put the door in and discovered Carson had died inside from, we presume, smoke inhalation, and his little dog died with him. We're very, very devastated."

North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne expressed his shock at the death, saying: "This is a real tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this terrible time."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph