The death of a woman in her 60s following a fire at her home in west Belfast, despite her neighbours’ attempts to save her, has been described as “a very tragic accident”.
The woman, who was described as being aged in her early 60s, suffered from poor health.
The fire broke out at a flat in Ardnaclowney House, a sheltered accomodation complex near Beechmount Avenue in Belfast.
Sinn Fein Councillor Mary McConville said: “We are all very sad at her passing. From what I understand it was a very tragic accident and very sad to hear. I think some of the neighbours tried to help her.
“She was living in sheltered accomodation but she was not an elderly lady. She was only in her early 60s but she had not been well for a while.”
TUV Councillor Jolene Bunting said: “It is so tragic and an awful situation and I would like to pass my condolences onto the family.”
The Fire Service say the blaze was accidental and the PSNI say the fire “is not being treated as suspicious at this time”, although the flat was cordoned off yesterday morning while an investigation into the exact causes was carried out.
Police and firefighters attended the scene after the fire broke out in the woman’s top floor flat shortly before 4pm on Sunday.
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said the blaze was accidental and was discovered in the kitchen of the premises, where it was quickly put out with a fire extinguisher.
A NIFRS spokesman said an automatic alarm at the complex alerted them to the incident.
The spokesperson said three other residents were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
The woman was later taken to hospital where her condition was described as critical on Sunday afternoon.
On Monday the PSNI confirmed the woman passed away in hospital from her injuries on Sunday evening.
A police spokesperson said: “Police can confirm that a woman has died following a fire at a flat in the Ardnaclowney Drive area of West Belfast.
“The fire was reported to police just after 4pm on Sunday 5 February.
“The woman was taken to hospital for treatment to her injuries but died later that evening.
“The fire is not being treated as suspicious at this time.”