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Tragedy after fire breaks out in bathroom at residential home

81-year-old woman dies in blaze

By Francesca Ryan

A pensioner has died after a fire broke out at a local residential home. The 81-year-old woman died yesterday (Wednesday) after she suffered extensive burns in Tuesday night’s blaze at Owenvale Court.

Three other people, including two members of staff, were treated for the effects of breathing in smoke in the wake of the fire.

The fire started in an ensuite bathroom of the Springfield Road complex just after 11pm on Tuesday evening.  Staff of the residential home managed to extinguish the fire in the room before the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the scene.  Residents were led to a day room until the Fire Service cleared the smoke while the victim was transferred by ambulance to hospital where she later died.

Staff at Owenvale Court declined to comment on the incident yesterday, but Helm Housing, which operates the home, expressed sympathy to the family of the pensioner.

“The fire alarm at Owenvale Court went off just after 11pm on Tuesday,” said Greg Lomax, Interim Chief Executive of Helm Housing.

“The St John of God staff, who manage the home, responded promptly and discovered a fire in a resident’s bathroom.

“Members of staff were able to extinguish the fire in the bathroom before the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service arrived on site.

“A female resident was subsequently transferred by ambulance to hospital, but has unfortunately died as a result of her very serious injuries. All staff involved would like to extend their deepest sympathy to the family.

“This was a tragic loss of life and she will be sadly missed by all of Owenvale Court’s staff and residents.  Our thoughts are with the family at this extremely difficult time,” added Mr Lomax.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service are currently conducting an investigation at the residential home to establish the source of Tuesday night’s fire.


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