Co. Londonderry family escape Boxing Day blaze

An emergency operator helped a family to safety when a fire left them trapped inside their Co. Londonderry home on Boxing Day.

Wednesday, 28th December 2016, 11:28 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:30 pm

The fire started at the house on Seacoast Road, Magilligan at around 4:00p.m.

A father, his three children and another adult were unable to exit the house as a result of the blaze.

The family rang 999 and were guided, by an emergency operator over the phone, to a flat roof upstairs.

All but one of the five were able to escape from the house.

Fire-fighters used a ladder to rescue the fifth person.

The fire is believed to have started in the living room area of the house.

Fifteen fire-fighters and three fire appliances attended the scene.

Dermot Rooney, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, said the emergency operator had almost certainly saved lives.

“They were stuck for 20 minutes inside the house. It goes to show how important receiving the right guidance is,” he said.

“Our operators are highly skilled in terms of gleaning information from distressed callers.”