Belfast Telegraph

Family of missing Lisa Dorrian left heartbroken as blaze destroys precious photos

Lisa’s sister Joanne and father John at the damaged family home
Lisa’s sister Joanne and father John at the damaged family home
Lisa Dorrian
The family home of Lisa Dorrian was badly damaged in the fire.
Family home of Lisa Dorrian badly damaged in fire

By Brett Campbell

The family of missing Lisa Dorrian have been left devastated after a house fire destroyed all their precious memories of her.

Up to £50,000 worth of damage was caused by the blaze at their home at Conlig in Co Down during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Ms Dorrian disappeared after a party at a caravan site in Ballywalter in 2005.

While police believe the 25-year-old shop assistant was murdered, her body has never been found.

Lisa's family, including dad John Dorrian (71) and sisters Joanne, Michelle and Ciara, have never given up trying to find her.

Mr Dorrian, a retired driving instructor, will now have to sift through photographs of his late wife Pat, who passed away two years ago, in the hope of finding pictures of his beloved daughter.

"Pat's memories are kept in the garage and they are fine. Hopefully there will be some pictures of Lisa there," he said.

Lisa Dorrian

"I have lived here for over 20 years, so this house had many memories of Lisa.

"We are a close family and while I find this traumatising, her three sisters have been left devastated."

John praised the "heart-warming" response of neighbours who have offered to share garage space and made him food in the aftermath of the fire which has caused significant structural damage.

Mr Dorrian explained how he was woken at 4am on Tuesday by his youngest daughter Ciara (21), who could smell burning.

When a thorough search of his home failed to uncover the cause he switched off all the plugs and went back to bed.

"I couldn't see or here anything and the smoke alarms never went off," he said.

"There were three of us in the house and the two dogs so we are all very lucky to be alive."

It was only when his 17-year-old grandson Ryan - an apprentice electrical engineer - left the house for tech at around 9am that the fire was spotted.

The family home of Lisa Dorrian was badly damaged in the fire.

"He glanced back and saw smoke billowing from the roof before running back inside shouting 'the house is on fire!'," John explained. "We rang the fire brigade and they were here in minutes."

Three appliances attended the scene and firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, but it was too late to salvage boxes full of photographs, clothing and sentimental reminders of Lisa.

"Everything belonging to Lisa was kept in the roof space, which was the most intense part of the fire, and now it's all gone," her heartbroken father said.

"The photos are charred beyond all recognition and her clothing just fuelled the flames.

"This fire has been devastating, but to lose so many memories is more emotionally upsetting - the room where she used to sleep has also collapsed."

Family home of Lisa Dorrian badly damaged in fire

A crowd-funding page has also been set up by a family friend to help pay for the repairs, which could exceed £50,000.

"I don't have home insurance and the price is going to be astronomical. It will be some time before I can return home," he said.

Donations can be made online at

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