A Polish family has been left homeless after an oil tank fire spread to their Coleraine house in the early hours of Sunday.
A man, woman and a child were taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation following the Ballycastle Road incident.
Neighbours were evacuated too as crews from five fire appliances fought to prevent the blaze reaching surrounding properties around 4.00am
A Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Fire crews from Coleraine,Portrush, Ballymoney and Portstewart attended the incident which was necessary to quickly attack and contain the large fire at the back of the premises.
“Neighbours had raised the alarm to ourselves and police and gained entry to the premises to alert the occupants who were a young family with a young child.
“Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus searched adjoining houses which were filling with smoke and residents including those with young children had to be evacuated for safety reasons.
“The Fire Emergency Support Services Vehicle (FESS) were tasked to the scene also and provided essential care to those affected in the area providing them with warm clothes, food and a place to stay. Having them there at the scene was vital in keeping the residents safe and warm.”
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and police were also in attendance.
PSNI Chief Inspector Mark McClarence said: “The cause of the fire has yet to be established, however, I would appeal to anyone who was in the Ballycastle Road area at around 4am this morning and who may have information which could assist with police enquiries, to contact officers in Coleraine on 101.”
Meanwhile, a friend has setup a Go Fund Me page to help the Obuchowicz family.
Angelika Cholewinska posted on Facebook: “So far they have no place to keep all clothes and stuff they got from all good people. They lost all money ,passports and all personal belongings . Donate by this page, their bank account is linked to this page. They really appreciate your help. Please share https://www.gofundme.com/help-for-family-after-house-fire.”