Belfast Telegraph

Man aged 67 dies in house fire

Police have fought to save a man from a house fire in west Belfast.

Joe Smith, 67, was found dead in his bedroom at the property in Lenadoon Avenue.

A policeman and woman tried to break down the door of the house but were beaten back by heavy smoke.

Another officer climbed a drainpipe and smashed a window but was forced back by the fire.

Mr Smith had lived in the area for many years and was well known.

Six appliances were called to deal with what the Fire Service described as an intense blaze which engulfed the ground and first floors of the house.

SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood said: "This is a terrible tragedy that has sent shockwaves through the local community.

"Tribute must be paid to the emergency services, particularly the fire crews who courageously battled and risked their lives in an attempt to save this man and prevent the fire spreading."

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