Heroism and compassion

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Heroism and compassion thumbnailFold Manager Tracey Barker pictured outside the flat at Agherton Grange in Portstewart destroyed in the Boxing Day fire. WK01-006CR

TALES of heroism and compassion have emerged from the ashes of a Boxing Day fire that swept through a sheltered housing development in Portstewart.
From the raw courage shown by firefighters who pulled an unconscious man from his burning flat, to the heroic levels of kindness from neighbours who arrived on mass to offer comfort, dispense tea and take in displaced residents.
The drama began when the blaze at a flat at Agherton Grange on Mill Road triggered an automatic alarm at around 7.45pm.
Residents were evacuated to the nearby church hall by staff with the help of firefighters who were at the scene in minutes.
Crews from five appliances quickly brought the fire under control but an entire wing containing eleven flats was left severely damaged.
One of the residents caught up in the drama was Pat McCrudden. He and another tenant were in the midst of attempting to rescue an incapacitated neighbour when the professionals arrived to take over.
Pat told the Chronicle: "The alarm went off and usually its because somebody has burnt their toast. But then it came back on and I smelled the smoke so I knew something was wrong.
“I went down, and there was another man shouting at a door. So we went in and he was lying on the floor. He was lying by the window and the flames were right up the curtains."
*Read the full story in this week's Chronicle


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