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Four people rescued from burning block of flats in Belfast

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Flax Street fire.

Flax Street fire.

Flax Street fire.

Four people have been rescued from a burning block of flats in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

Firefighters were called to Flax Street at 5.29am on Sunday morning after a fire broke out at a flat on the fourth floor of the building.

NIFRS Group Commander Geoff Somerville told the Belfast Telegraph that two people were rescued from the external of the building using an aerial ladder and two people self-rescued.

Each of the people rescued were treated at the scene for minor burns and smoke inhalation. They were all taken to hospital for further treatment.

Group Commander Somerville said: "We have five fire appliances in attendance and an aerial platform ladder, with 10 fighters using breathing apparatus going into the building.

"We first received the call by an automatic fire alarm and then there was subsequent callers who phoned to confirm the fire.

"The incident was concluded at 9.50am. We isolated the power and gas. Phoenix Gas came to isolate the gas and NIE came to isolate the electricity.

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General view of Flax Street in north Belfast where four people were rescued from a fore at the block of flats on Sunday morning. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

General view of Flax Street in north Belfast where four people were rescued from a fore at the block of flats on Sunday morning. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

General view of Flax Street in north Belfast where four people were rescued from a fore at the block of flats on Sunday morning. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

"We have now handed the building over to Radius Housing to see that repairs are done prior to allowing residents to come back into the flats."

Eight other residents were evacuated during the fire and the cause of the fire has been confirmed as accidental ignition from a device that had been plugged in overnight.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker tweeted: "This was a very frightening experience for all the residents and thankfully everyone was evacuated assisted by NIFRS. The flats will not be accessible for at least 24 hours. Liasing with NB Housing."

Sinn Fein councillor Ryan Murphy said: "I want to commend the rapid response of emergency services in overcoming this fire.

“Their actions helped prevent this from escalating into a more serious incident. I also wish those who suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns a full recovery.

"This fire is believed to have been started accidentally by an electrical appliance.

“I would urge everyone to be careful at leaving electrical devices on over night.”

Belfast Telegraph