Northern Ireland

North Belfast fire: Ardoyne priest hails community effort to save family

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

A priest in north Belfast has spoken of the "wonderful community effort" shown by people in the Ardoyne area in trying to save a family from a house fire.

A baby girl and her mother are in a critical condition in hospital after the fire in Jamaica Street on Thursday. Her father is in a stable condition.

Some people had tried to rescue the family, but were unable to due to the heat.

They were later removed from the property by the fire service.

Fr Gary Donegan said on Sunday that he had visited the family in hospital on Friday night.

He praised the efforts of neighbours who had attempted to rescue the family, but had been unable to due to the heat.

"I suppose the positive side of this has been the tremendous actions of the local community in first of all alerting the emergency services but then trying valiantly to actually get into the house," he added.

"Even the firemen were saying they had never experienced help like it - they were literally throwing the hoses of the appliances in order to assist and help.

"So it was a wonderful community effort to try and save this family."

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