A local family were lucky to escape with their lives after fire ravaged their Ballinderry home, leaving devastation in its wake.
The fire at the home of the Savage family was caused by their Christmas lights and mother of four Helen is warning people not to leave their lights switched on at night.
“Myself, my husband Sam and our four children Aimee, Nathan, Freddie and Olivia, had all gone to bed,” explained Helen.
“I heard a noise downstairs but we thought it was the dog and didn’t worry.
“When I heard another noise I sent my husband down to investigate.
“It turned out the noise I heard was the television exploding. Sam told me to get the kids, who are aged three to seven, out of the house because it was on fire,” she continued.
“I thought he was joking at first. We went out into the back yard and I called the Fire Brigade. I could hardly even hear because the children were screaming. They were in their pyjamas and were absolutely terrified.”
Helen said the whole family were lucky to be alive and she thanked her neighbours, friends and family for all their support. The Savage family are currently divided, with Helen and Sam staying with friends in Glengormley and their children staying with grandparents in Enniskillen.
“We have lost everything and it will take months to fix the house but we are very lucky to be alive,” continued Helen. “We hope we will be reunited over Christmas.”
Helen is warning everyone to check their Christmas lights and never to leave them on at night or when they are out.
“I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this,” she said. If we hadn’t heard that noise we might not be alive today,” she said.
A spokesperson for the fire and rescue service confirmed to the Star: “On December 14, fire crews dealt with a fire in the living room of a semi detached house .”