Man and woman rescued from Coleraine house fire
POLICE said officers fought through dense smoke to help find a couple trapped in a house fire in Coleraine, Co Derry.
The blaze started in the kitchen of the Queens Park home just before midnight on Tuesday.
Four PSNI officers entered the burning building to help locate the couple and found a man in the stairway area before the woman's cries for help were heard from upstairs.
The woman, who is in her 60s, was rescued from a first floor window ledge of the detached house.
The couple received treatment from paramedics at the scene and two police officers were also treated for the effects of breathing in smoke.
PSNI Chief Inspector Mark McClarence said the fire, which is being treated as "non-suspicious", was reported to police at around 11:47pm.
"Upon arrival, four police officers entered the house where a man in the hallway alerted them to a woman who was trapped in an upstairs room," he said.
"Two officers attempted to make their way to the woman upstairs, but were unable to due to dense smoke.
"One of the officers, however, managed to awaken a neighbour and borrow a set of ladders while the other three police officers attempted to extinguish the blaze."
He said officers along with members of the NI Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) were subsequently able to guide the woman to safety, using the ladders, via an upstairs window.
The occupants were both taken to hospital by the ambulance service for treatment for the effects of smoke inhalation.
"The officers who entered the house were also treated as a precaution," the spokesman said.
"While this fire was a traumatic and frightening incident for the occupants of the house, fortunately the woman was able to get out of the house safely."
A NIFRS spokeswoman said fire crews from Coleraine and Portrush "entered the property using breathing apparatus and extinguished a fire in the kitchen with a hose reel jet".
"One female occupant in her 60s was rescued by firefighters using a short extension ladder from a first floor window," she said.
"Thankfully on this occasion the swift response from firefighters has prevented any serious injury or loss of life."