News

Fatal blaze stuns Culdee community

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Fatal blaze stuns Culdee community thumbnailThe scene at the property at Culdee Drive following Friday night’s fatal fire which claimed the life of Barry Toal.

A 55-YEAR-OLD Armagh man tragically died in a blaze at his home on Friday evening, despite heroic attempts to rescue him.
Barry Toal lost his life and two other occupants of the property were rescued, after a fire engulfed the family's home in Culdee Drive.
At the height of the inferno, around 30 firefighters fought to bring the fire under control at the mid-terraced house, which was extensively damaged.
Neighbours - who alerted the emergency services to the blaze at 8.36pm - were able to rescue two others, both of whom were later treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
Sadly, despite every effort to try and break an upstairs window to rescue Mr Toal using ladders, all attempts proved in vain.
Fire appliances from Armagh Fire Station arrived first at the scene and were quickly joined by crews from Keady and Portadown Fire Stations, as well as a command support unit from Lisburn.
Fire crews commenced firefighting operations on the first floor and roof space, which caused extensive fire and smoke damage to the property. 
The fire was quickly brought under control by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and using firefighting jets, which prevented it spreading to adjoining properties. 
A Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) spokesperson confirmed to the Ulster Gazette yesterday (Monday) that the cause of the fire is being treated as "accidental".
"The thoughts and sympathies of all those in Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service are with the family, friends of the person who has lost their life in this tragic incident," an NIFRS spokesperson said.
"Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind the public of the importance of having a working smoke alarm."
Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan described Mr Toal's death as "tragic" and extended his sympathies to the victim's family.
"The fire and rescue service attended the blaze, but sadly on this occasion the man's life couldn't be saved," Mr Boylan said.

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