Belfast Telegraph

Man blames vandals after his rescue from house blaze

By Christine Carrigan

A man rescued from an early-morning house fire has praised neighbours who came to his aid.

James Creighton was helped from the property at Glasvey Gardens in Dunmurry after the blaze took hold at around 3am yesterday.

A second man at a neighbouring premises was also led to safety.

It is thought the fire originated in the back garden of one of the houses before quickly spreading to the other, causing extensive damage to the exterior of both. Fortunately, no-one was injured.

Mr Creighton (68), who is an ex-community worker and sole resident of one of the properties, said he believed it was started deliberately by vandals.

"It started in the bins and by the looks of it a lot of flammable materials were used to start a fire that big," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"My neighbour came in and got me up.

"I have got arthritis and a bad hip, so he has a key to come in and check on me in case anything ever happens.

"When he told me there was a fire, I didn't believe him because the fire alarm hadn't gone off or anything."

A man in his 30s, who is profoundly deaf, was woken by neighbours and rescued from an adjacent property.

Mr Creighton added: "I knew the kid wouldn't be able to hear his alarm if it was going off, but two men managed to get him out through the window and he is okay, but it could have been a lot worse."

The resident said it was usually a quiet area and is reluctant to move away.

"There is damage to the inside - the weight of the water used to kill the fire brought the ceiling down, but you know they had to do it," Mr Creighton said.

"I have lived here for three years, and I don't want to move out, but if they say it is not liveable then I will have to."

The police are treating the fire as suspicious. Detective Sergeant Keith Wilson said: "Our inquiries into the cause of the fire are continuing and I would appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the Glasvey Gardens area to contact detectives."

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