Five officers treated for smoke inhalation after blaze at flats

A fire engine
A fire engine

Five police officers were treated in hospital for the effects of breathing in smoke following a fire in north Belfast.

The fire, believed to have been arson, broke out in a block of flats at Flax Street in the city around 5.40am this morning (Saturday, September 29).

A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of arson endangering life.

Detective Sergeant Stephen Gardiner explained: “Officers responded to the blaze at a block of flats in Flax Street at around 5.40am this morning, Saturday 29 September.

“The officers who were first to arrive at the scene entered the building and evacuated residents.

“One man was removed from the building by Fire Service personnel wearing breathing apparatus.

“He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of arson endangering life, before being transferred to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.

“I would commend the bravery of the responding officers who dealt with this incident, for their selflessness and commitment to protecting the public and ensuring the residents of the building were removed from harm’s way and were kept safe.”