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Pensioners to be advised on fire safety after death

By Francesca Ryan

Community groups are planning to leaflet pensioners’ homes to highlight home safety in the wake of the fire tragedy in which a 90-year-old Twinbrook pensioner died. The blaze broke out at the woman’s Laburnum Green home in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

Neighbours, who were alerted by the fire alarm, made efforts to rescue the pensioner, Margaret Henry, before they were joined by the PSNI and the Fire Service. Mrs Henry was found unconscious in a first floor bedroom and was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she later died.  Her funeral was held on Monday at St Luke’s church in the estate.

Five police officers received treatment at the scene for smoke inhalation and another was treated for smoke inhalation and a minor burn.  The fire is not being treated as suspicious.

Sinn Féin’s Charlene O’Hara, a councillor for the Twinbrook area, expressed her sympathy following the incident.

“This fire and subsequent death was a real shock to the local community,” she said.  “Our thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time.”

Now local community groups are planning to leaflet pensioners’ homes.

“We are going to do presentations on safety at a few of the Good Morning Colin events,” said the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership’s Michael George.  “We will be making sure people are equipped with all the information they need to ensure their house is safe, we will also be providing contact details of those who can carry out these checks.

“Next week we will be visiting pensioners’ homes to ensure everyone is aware of these safety checks because we do not want another tragedy like this.”

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