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Woman saved from fire as winds fan the blaze

By Patrice Dougan

Published 13/09/2011

An elderly woman was rescued from her burning house after a fire tore through a number of properties in Co Antrim yesterday.

Firefighters said the strong winds which battered Northern Ireland yesterday fanned the blaze which broke out at Grove Park in the Balnamore area of Ballymoney and hindered attempts to put it out.

The area is home to mostly pensioner bungalows.

Firefighters rescued the elderly woman from her home after the fire broke out in a nearby out-house and quickly spread. A man was also found. They were both treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.

Liam O'Sullivan, station commander for the Coleraine district, said fire crews were concerned the gale force winds would spread the blaze to more properties.

They were also concerned about a number of gas cylinders located in the vicinity, he said.

A number of homes had to be evacuated in the area as crews fought to extinguish the blaze, which destroyed two bungalows, workshops, a car and a caravan.

"It's a well-established community and they are very supportive of the two couples that have lost their homes," Mr O'Sullivan explained.

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