Woman 'stable' after being rescued from Ballymena house fire
Initially it was believed children may have been present in the house but they were elsewhere during the fire.
A woman who was fighting for her life is now in a stable condition in hospital following a fire at a house in Ballymena.
It happened in Woodcroft Brae in Galgorm at around 6.30pm on Tuesday evening.
Initially it was believed two children may have been present in the house but they were elsewhere during the fire.
The woman, who is thought to be in her mid-50s, was rushed to Antrim Area Hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation where her condition was described as "critical".
She was transferred to Altnagelvin where her condition is now described as "stable."
Twenty-nine firefighters from Ballymena, Antrim and Kilrea along with two officers, four fire engines and a command vehicle attended the scene and tackled the well developed fire which broke out on the ground floor of the two-storey detached house.
The PSNI are investigating the cause of the blaze.
Last night an eye-witness who did not wish to be named said he had "never seen flames like it" as he described it as a "very intense fire".
He said: "Our thoughts are with our neighbour in hospital and we all hope she can recover.
"The family are lovely people and they are in a bad way about what has happened. They have two teenage children, a boy and girl - they go to Ballymena Academy and Cambridge House - who live in the house and they also have other children who live away from home.
"At one stage there was a concern as to where the two teenagers who still live at home were but they were accounted for thankfully.
"I dialled 999 when I noticed what had happened but somebody had already done so. I never saw flames like it, it was a very intense fire and the house is badly damaged.
"It was very lucky there was no wind or the house next door might have caught fire."
Eight breathing apparatus sets and two water jets were required to bring the fire under control and extinguish it.
The Fire Officer in charge ordered an attack on the fire with two water jets and committed breathing apparatus wearers to the house.
One of the breathing apparatus teams found and rescued a woman from the burning house.
Group Commander Archie McKay said: "I have no information relating to her condition at this time. The breathing apparatus teams continued to search as it was believed children may have been present in the house.
"Thankfully they were elsewhere during the fire.
"The cause of the fire is under investigation. We wish the lady a speedy recovery."
SDLP councillor for Ballymena Declan O'Loan visited the scene of the fire on Tuesday evening and said it was clear it was a very serious fire.
He said: "I want to express my sympathy to the family of the woman and hope that the lady makes a full recovery."