Three flee house blaze

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Three flee house blaze thumbnailThe semi-detached bungalow at Forest Crescent, Baronscourt, which was destroyed in a blaze on Friday morning.

TWO brothers and an elderly neighbour in an adjoining property were lucky to escape unharmed following a house fire near Baronscourt on Friday morning thanks to an alert neighbour who noticed smoke coming from the property.

Thanks to the quick-thinking and brave actions of Hazel Adams members of the family - named locally as the Magee family who are understood to have lived in the area for more than 30 years - managed to flee the burning house at Forest Crescent.

An elderly neighbour living next door was also led to safety. She too was checked over at the scene by paramedics and was uninjured.

The dramatic incident unfolded at around 9am on Friday morning (January 6). The fire, which is understood to have ignited in the roof space, caused widespread damage to the property. The visible destruction to the roof bearing witness to the ferocious nature of the fire when it took hold.

The alarm was raised by Ms Adams who lives nearby. Her niece initially noticed smoke bellowing from the property's roof space and Ms Adams then ran to alert the family.

Noticing that the door was unlocked the brave woman entered the house and called out to the two young men who were asleep in bed.

Speaking yesterday (Tuesday), Ms Adams, who had just returned from a holiday in New Zealand the night before, played down her heroics.

She told the Strabane Weekly News: "I went into the house and just shouted 'fire, fire!' I could hear the fire above me but there was no smoke in the hall at this point. Eventually one of the boys came out of his room and the two of them then got out.



"At this stage the tiles were pinging off the roof, the flames were coming out and there was a lot of smoke outside. I then went next door and got the lady there out. I was just running on adrenaline and tore on. I never really thought, it was just instinct."

Ms Adams says she has since spoken to the Magee family who are very grateful to her.

Emergency services were alerted by other neighbours and were quickly on the scene. At one stage the fire was threatening to take hold of the roof of the neighbouring property but firefighters managed to avert the danger and eventually quell the blaze. It is understood that the adjoining property sustained some smoke damage as well as minor water damage.

The Fire Service has confirmed that the cause of the fire is being treated as accidental. It's understood that an electrical fault in the roof space may have been the cause of the ignition.

"Fire Service were called to a fire at a semi-detached bungalow on January 6 at 9am. The fire destroyed the roof and part spread to the roof of the adjacent house. There were no casualties as three people were out of the house on arrival of firefighters.

"Paramedics checked over an elderly lady living next door as a precaution. Appliances from Omagh, Newtownstewart and Castlederg Stations were tasked to the scene. The Fire Emergency Support Service also attended to offer assistance to the occupiers of the house following the house fire. The incident was over at 12.41pm," a Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said.

The family are now understood to be staying with a relative and the local community are continuing to rally around and support them.

"They are all very much still in shock about it but they're very grateful to me. They are now left standing more or less with whatever clothes they had on them. That's all they got out of the house. The rest is destroyed. We're all trying to to rally around and do what we can to help them.

"My children are calling me 'super gran'. I haven't been sleeping since with thinking about what could have happened. It's awful for the family especially so soon into the New Year. They're all very lucky that they're still alive and I'm just glad that no-one was harmed," Ms Adams added.


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