Belfast Telegraph

Three arrested over house fire released on bail

Three people arrested after a blaze at a flat which almost killed a man and a woman have been released without charge.

Firefighters said the couple had a miraculous escape after their first floor flat on the Ballysillan Road caught fire on Wednesday, March 10.

They were lying unconscious in the front bedroom when firefighters smashed their way through a double-glazed window to take them down a ladder to safety.

An eyewitness spoke of the screams he heard from the flat as the couple were trapped inside. William Pollock, who lives two houses down, said neighbours watched in horror as the couple screamed for help while flames consumed their home.

The fire started in the back bedroom of the flat and the man and woman were trapped in the front room by the flames. Mr Pollock said he and others ran around to the back of the property to try to help their neighbours, only to see the flames burn even stronger.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said: “It is reported that two occupants were trapped in the first floor flat, banging on the window and screaming for help as the blaze took hold.

“I wish to commend the brave and swift actions of fire fighters who arrived quickly on the scene and rescued them to safety. It is a great relief that potential loss of life was averted.”

A spokeswoman for the PSNI said the three persons — one male aged 21 years, one female aged 32 years, and another female aged 48 years — were all released on bail pending further enquiries.

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