Belfast Telegraph

Woman dies following blaze at Belfast housing complex

By Chris McCullough

A woman in her 60s has died after suffering severe burns in a fire at her home in west Belfast.

The blaze happened at a flat in Ardnaclowney House, a sheltered housing complex off Beechmount Avenue.

Police and firefighters attended the scene after the fire broke out in the woman's top floor flat shortly before 4pm yesterday.

The Fire Service said the blaze was accidental and was discovered in the kitchen of the premises, where it was quickly put out with a fire extinguisher.

A spokesperson added that three other residents were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

The flat was cordoned off while an investigation takes place.

The woman was taken to hospital where her condition was described as critical on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday the PSNI confirmed the woman passed away in hospital from her injuries on Sunday evening.

A NIFRS spokesman said an automatic alarm at the complex alerted them to the incident.

"The thoughts and sympathies of NIFRS are with her family and friends at this difficult time."

Meanwhile, firefighters also rescued two people from the top of a house during a chip pan fire in south Belfast at the weekend.

They received a call for help from a man and woman trapped in the third floor attic room of the premises in Magdala Street.

Three people escaped the mid-terrace house shortly before the crews arrived, but the man and woman remained trapped on the third floor. The address, in the Holy Land area, was filled with thick smoke as a result of the incident just before 10.30pm on Saturday, according to French student Benoit Lecallard who was in the house when the drama unfolded.

"One of the tenants forgot about the chip pan and it caught fire but the Fire Service was here very quickly," said Mr Lecallard.

"Some of us had got out ourselves but there were two people left in the top room. The Fire Service got them out."

Fire Service group commander Alan O'Neill said there were no serious injuries. "Of those who were rescued, there was some slight smoke inhalation and an individual who had gone back into the property - who had identified that a fire had occurred - had some slight burns to his hands," he explained. "He was able to get back out of the property and the fire crews were able to get in then and extinguish it."

A Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) spokesman said: "Chip pans should never be left unattended and NIFRS would like to remind the public of the importance of having a working smoke alarm."

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