Woman (77) in hospital after Antrim house blaze
A 77-year-old woman is in a serious condition in hospital after she was rescued from a house fire in Antrim.
Police officers who rushed to the scene just before 5am yesterday were unable to penetrate the thick smoke and faced an anxious wait until firefighters wearing breathing apparatus arrived.
Neighbours were alerted by smoke alarms but when they went to the door of the two-storey house at Moylena Grove there was no response.
Fire Service Commander David Heyburn said: "Police arrived first and could hear the lady crying out for help.
"They went into the hallway and tried to go up the stairs but there was very thick black smoke and they backed off.
"Two firefighters with breathing apparatus went in to find the lady and it took another two to assist to get the lady outside.
"She was a in a bad state at that stage with smoke inhalation and the ambulance crew were waiting and took her off to Antrim Area Hospital."
The cause of the fire was unknown last night.
A Northern Health Trust spokeswoman said the woman was in a "serious condition" in the intensive care unit of Antrim Hospital.
Antrim DUP councillor John Smyth said: "We can only hope and pray she will make a full recovery."