A polish family is currently homeless following a large fire at their home on the Ballycastle Road in Coleraine. The fire broke out in the early hours of this morning.
Five fire appliances attended the scene, one from Coleraine, two from Portrush, one from Portstewart and one from Ballymoney. The fire and emergency support unit were also in attendance.
Fire crews worked quickly to ensure the fire did not spread to adjoining properties and contained the scene very quickly ensuring the safety of all residents nearby.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community this morning, Angelika Cholewinska, A friend of the Obuchowicz family said ” A local Polish family is in need of help. They need clothes for a 3 year old boy, newborn baby boy (Martyna is due next month ) adult clothes for Marcin her husband who is size L , for a woman size S and maternity clothes if possible. Small kitchen appliances, toys etc would be helpful”.
A spokesperson for the PSNI said “Police in Coleraine are appealing for information following a fire at a property in the Ballycastle Road area in the early hours of Sunday 22nd January.
A report was received by police at around 4am that an oil tank at a house was on fire. The fire then spread to the house causing substantial damage, requiring the occupants and near neighbours to be evacuated. The Ballycastle Road was closed for some time whilst emergency services dealt with the incident but has since re-opened. A man, woman and a small child were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Chief Inspector Mark McClarence said: “ The cause of the fire has yet to be established, however, I would appeal to anyone who was in the Ballycastle Road area at around 4am this morning and who may have information which could assist with police enquiries, to contact officers in Coleraine on 101.”
A NIFRS Spokesman gave us an insight into what happened this morning from a fire service point of view; “Fire crews from Coleraine,Portrush, Ballymoney and Portstewart attended the incident which was necessary to quickly attack and contain the large fire at the back of the premises.
Neighbours had raised the alarm to ourselves. Police gained entry to the premises to alert the occupants who were a young family with a young child. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus searched adjoining houses which were filling with smoke and residents including those with young children had to be evacuated for safety reasons.
The Fire Emergency Support Services Vehicle (FESS) were tasked to the scene who also provided essential care to those affected in the area providing them with warm clothes, food and a place to stay. Having them there at the scene was vital in keeping the residents safe and warm.
A safety message from NIFRS would be to be vigilant at this time of year if using extra heat sources or appliances and ensure they are safe and attended at all times and also ensure you have a smoke alarm and it is working. A safe escape plan is vital to ensuring the safety of you and your family.”
Image Credits : Matthew Steele