21/11/2005

Ten people rescued from burning flats

Ten people have escaped serious injury following a suspected arson attack on a block of flats in Co Antrim on Sunday.

When fire crews were called out to the flats in Laurel Grov, Lisburn, at about 11.30pm they found some residents hanging out of windows calling for help.

The blaze had taken hold and destroyed a first floor flat in the building whilst two floors suffered smoke and water damage.

Five of six people who suffered from smoke inhalation were taken to hospital for treatment. The remainder of those rescued escaped shaken but unharmed.

It is believed an internal the fire alarm system in the complex had been vandalised and was not working. Automated fire doors which should have closed to prevent the building becoming filled with smoke also failed to activate once the fire and smoke took hold.

A spokesperson for the Fire Service said that the blaze was still under investigation but that arson was a possibility.

(MB/SP)

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