03/12/2004

Fourteen people rescued from burning flats in Belfast

A couple and their nine-month-old baby were among 14 people who were led to safety following a fire in Belfast early this morning.

The fire broke out on the third floor of flats in Claremont Court, Abercorn Street off the Lisburn Road shortly after 5am on Friday.

The building was filled with smoke when fire crews arrived, however the blaze in the stairwell was eventually brought under control. One person was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation but there were no other reports of injuries.

A spokesperson for the Fire Service said early indications suggested the fire may have been started deliberately.

"Firemen witnessed something they might never see again - people hanging out of windows with smoke billowing out from behind them, shouting and screaming for help,” the spokesperson added.

Police have confirmed that they have arrested a man for questioning in connection with the incident.

(MB/SP)

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