Northern Ireland

Baby and parents still critical after Jamaica Street, north Belfast, fire

Forensic officer at fire scene Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption A forensic officer at the house in Jamaica Street

A baby girl and her parents remain in a critical condition in hospital following a house fire in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

They were rescued from the upstairs of the property in Jamaica Street just before midnight on Thursday.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

BBC reporter Andy West, said some people had tried to rescue the family, but were unable to due to the heat.

One man, who did not want to be identified, said: "The smoke was just belting out the front door.

"They were all saying on the street, 'they're up the stairs, they're up the stairs'.

"So I tried to go up the stairs, but I only got to three or four steps and I just had to turn back. You couldn't see, you couldn't breathe."

The alarm was raised by a taxi driver and within minutes 20 firefighters and three ambulances arrived.

Neighbours described the street being filled with thick white smoke.

William Johnston from the fire service said the fire was "well developed" on the ground floor when they arrived.

"There were lots of neighbours in and around the area who were alerting the crews to some personnel trapped within the house," he said.

"We removed the casualties from the premises and the fire crews worked with the paramedics to look after them.

"They were unconscious at the time and were taken to, I think, the Royal Victoria Hospital by the paramedics."

Police have issued an appeal for information.

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