Man, 91, dies in Co Down house fire

Published Tuesday, 02 September 2014
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A 91-year-old man has died after a fire at an adjacent property spread to his home in Carryduff, Co Down.

He has been named as Samuel Carson.

The blaze began at a garage and oil tank at Thorndale Park, before spreading to another oil tank and house on the Hillsborough Road, where the Mr Carson is understood to have lived alone.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 1am on Tuesday.

It took 40 firefighters four hours to battle the blaze.

A Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) Spokesperson said that they had been alerted to attend a fire involving a domestic garage and an oil tank at Thorndale Park.

"The fire quickly spread to another oil tank and ruptured, which caused a nearby detached bungalow on Hillsborough Road to catch fire.

"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.

"Fire crews dealt with the fire involving the bungalow, the garage and the oil tanks by 5am. In total seven fire appliances and a command support unit and around 40 firefighters attended the incident.

"The cause of the fire is under investigation."

A PSNI spokesperson said it was not believed there are any suspicious circumstances.

I knew him all my life. He was always a very nice man, very pleasant to speak to, had lots of friends and neighbours here.

Samuel McFarlane

Friend and neighbour Samuel McFarlane described the scene.

"First of all I heard a bang and then, I started to investigate. By that time, the fire brigade arrived and we could see the flames leaping into the air."

Not realising his friend's house was caught up in the blaze, he called the elderly man's daughter who arrived at the scene to check on him.

By this stage, further fire crews had arrived. Mr McFarlane said that firefighters broke into the house to rescue him, but at that stage he was unconscious and died at the scene after receiving treatment.

"It's very sad," he continued. "It's terrible to think of him going this way when he had lived for so long."

Gordon Walker, Pastor of Carryduff Baptist Church, said that the victim was very much loved in the church and well respected in the community.

"The family are simply stunned by this and are trying to terms with the reality of what has happened here out of the blue."

DUP Mayor of Castlereagh Jack Beattie described the news as "terrible".

"I have an elderly mother and mother-in-law and to think that someone of that age and who would have lived through the Second World War, to suffer such a death fills me with horror," he said.

South Belfast DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt expressed his sadness over the death.

"My thoughts and prayers are with this man's family at this very sad time. I also want to praise the Fire Service for their quick response and for getting the fire under control so quickly."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
4 Comments
Leonie Knox in New Zealand wrote (85 days ago):
Sam so sorry to hear about your friend & neighbour that passed away in the house fire.... Regards Leonie & Murray Knox Outram New Zealand
AK in Ireland wrote (85 days ago):
RIP
Mary mc kay in Carryduff wrote (86 days ago):
So sad he was a very nice we man always waved at people walking in the near by park.RIP
norman.d in bangor wrote (86 days ago):
Another death to house fire why do people still not fit smoke alarms and check to make sure they are working it will help save lives
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