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In pictures: Birmingham woman dies in ‘suspicious’ fire in Newry

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A 38 year-old woman who died in a house fire in Newry was from Birmingham, police have said.

The fire at Georges Lane was reported to police just after 11.05pm on Saturday.

Yesterday, the scene of the fatal blaze was sealed off as forensic officers combed the area.

A PSNI spokesman said: “It is believed that the body of a woman was found in the house. At this stage, police are treating the fire as suspicious.”

Investigators have appealed for anyone who knows anything about the incident to contact them at Ardmore Police Station.

Newry deputy mayor, UUP councillor David Taylor, yesterday said there was very little information about the deceased.

“I spoke to the police several times and they had not identified the girl,” he said.

“They said it may take longer for identification. I know the house itself is set amongst shops, on a shopping street.”

Mr Taylor added that everyone in the city “woke up to very bad news this morning after the house fire”.

“Obviously my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the woman who tragically died in the fire.”

Sinn Fein councillor for Newry, Charlie Casey, who attended the scene of the fire, said he had no police or local confirmation about who the woman was.

“People on the ground have been saying she was a youngish woman, but had no idea where she was from or her name,” he said.

“She is not local. This is very grim news and some family is going to get bad news. She is someone’s sister or daughter.”

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh, Dominic Bradley, also expressed his shock that a woman had lost her life in a fire in Newry city centre.

Speaking after visiting the scene, he said: “My first thoughts are with the family and relations of the deceased. This is terrible news for a family to receive, made worse by the tragic circumstances.

“On behalf of the community here I extend sympathy to the family following this very sad incident.”

Independent councillor, Jackie Patterson, who grew up in the area, said there was “great shock” in the area.

“This is the only residential house on the street. The other house on the street is a solicitor’s office, and the rest of the street is commercial,” he said.

“I know prior to that lady moving in, a number of foreign nationals lived in that property. I would like to send my condolences to the family of the woman. They are going to get bad news.”

 

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