Northern Ireland news


West Belfast couple due to get married lose everything in tumble dryer fire

Jackie Dynes and Claire Tolan with baby Darcy at their home on Brighton Street in west Belfast. Picture by Mark Marlow

A WEST Belfast couple due to get married in 11 weeks have told how they have lost everything in a blaze in their home after a tumble dryer caught fire.

Claire Tolan and Jackie Dynes now face at least six months out of their house in Brighton Street due to the scale of the smoke damage throughout the property.

The couple, who have a 10-week-old daughter, Darcy, last night said they were "devastated" by the blaze but "thankful as things could have been a lot worse".

The property has been left heavily smoke damaged. Picture by Mark Marlow

Ms Tolan said the fire broke out on Saturday around 6.30pm.

"My niece had came to our door asking could I bring some clothes down to my sister's as they were going to the Little Mix concert," she said.

"She just lives down the street, so I left Jackie with the baby as she was getting a feed.

"The next thing Jackie came running down the street shouting. I thought at first something was wrong with Darcy and then he was shouting there was a fire in our house.

"He said he heard the smoke alarm going off in the house and at first thought I had left the bottles in the microwave. When he went to look in the kitchen, he just saw all the black smoke and got out of the house."

The home of Jackie Dynes and Claire Toland on Brighton Street, west Belfast. Picture Mark Marlow.

Ms Tolan said fire and rescue service crews were on the scene within minutes and the blaze was extinguished quickly.

"They told us it was the tumble dryer that had gone on fire," she said.

"It wasn't even on and hadn't been on in about six hours.

The tumble dryer is believed to have caught fire. Picture by Mark Marlow

"We're just absolutely heartbroken, we are going to be out of the house for about six months as the smoke damage is so bad and we have lost everything. Everything is ruined, all Darcy's things are gone - her pram, Moses basket, bottle maker, everything. Her wee room that had been decorated to perfection that she never even got to sleep in, it's all ruined. All the walls in the house are black.

"We have to start again, even all the wedding stuff is all gone – we get married in 11 weeks. But we are thankful as things could have been a lot worse, we could have been in our beds when the fire broke out. There was somebody watching down on us for sure."

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