Northern Ireland

High levels of carbon monoxide fumes found after cable fire

An elderly woman from Londonderry said she is lucky to be a alive after an underground cable caught fire.

Seven houses were evacuated in Bennett Street on Sunday and thermal imaging cameras used to find the burning cable.

Northern Ireland Electricity and the fire service are investigating the fire which resulted in dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide in the area.

"The fire brigade said we were very lucky it happened when it did. We could have been dead," she said.

"I was sitting watching television when all of a sudden the TV went up.

"There was a rumble and everything shook. I went outside thinking there was a steamroller coming down the street."

However, when the lady, who does not want to be identified, went outside she saw smoke rising from the footpath.

She screamed for help and two men from a nearby pub came to aid her from her home and raised the alarm.

Residents were out of their homes from about 23:00 GMT on Saturday to about 09:00 BST on Sunday.

"We were told it was gas," she said.

"We were scared what was going to happen, we were waiting for an explosion."