Northern Ireland

Carryduff fire: 91-year-old man dies as neighbour's house fire spreads

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Media captionThe fire began in a neighbour's garage, before spreading to oil tanks and setting the pensioner's home alight

A 91-year-old man has died after an overnight fire near his house engulfed his property in Carryduff, on the outskirts of Belfast.

Samuel Carson died after a blaze in the garage of a house at Thorndale Park, off the Hillsborough Road, caused his home to go up in flames.

Firefighters responded to a call of an oil tank on fire at the neighbour's house at about 01:00 BST on Tuesday.

Mr Carson was removed from his home but he died at the scene.

Police have said they do not believe the cause of the fire was suspicious.

The pastor of Carryduff Baptist Church, Gordon Walker, said the tragedy had left the family shaken.

"One of his daughters was actually here when they brought him out of the house and you know there will come a day when he is going to be taken away from us.

"But to go in this way, I think that just processing that is going to be the most challenging thing over the next few days."


In a statement, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said: "Firefighters rescued a 91-year-old man from the property, and alongside ambulance personnel they carried out CPR, but sadly the man died at the scene."

The firefighter in charge of the operation, group commander Kevin O'Neill, described the circumstances of the fire as "tragic".

"When we arrived we saw that the fire had spread from the garage to an oil tank, which had ruptured causing the rupture of a second oil tank, and the running heating oil from these two oil tanks ran downhill into another property, and the occupant in that property subsequently died as a a result of the fire," Mr O'Neill said.

Image caption About 40 firefighters were called to the scene of the fire in Carryduff that claimed the life of an elderly man

The blaze that had damaged the bungalow, the garage and the oil tanks took about four hours to bring under control and was dealt with by 05:00 BST.

'Multiple explosions'

BBC News NI reporter Rick Faragher, who went to the scene on Tuesday morning, said neighbours told him that Mr Carson lived alone.

"One woman who lives two doors down from the property told me she heard multiple explosions, as many as five," he said.

"She and the rest of the small street came out to see what was happening and saw what she called large flames."

About 40 firefighters, seven fire appliances and a command support unit were involved in the operation.