Northern Ireland

Man dies following east Belfast flat fire

Image caption Early indications suggested the fire was accidental

A man has died following a fire at his east Belfast home.

The man in his 50s was rescued from the blaze at a first-floor flat at Station Road, Sydenham, at about 20:00 GMT on Sunday.

He was taken to hospital but he died during the night from the effects of smoke inhalation.

The Fire Service's district commander, Graham Lowry, said early indications suggested the fire was accidental. An investigation is under way.

"When the fire service arrived, there was smoke issuing from they first floor flat. They sent in crews with breathing apparatus," Mr Lowry said.

"Sadly, the fire had produced a large quantity of thick black smoke. I believe it had been caused by the foam from a settee in the room."

He added: "He was conscious and breathing and both the fire and ambulance services worked really hard, there was nothing more the crews could have done at the scene.

"Initial indications suggest it was a tragic accident."

It is understood that a smoke alarm sounded in the flat and a neighbour heard it. He knocked on the man's door to try to alert him, then phoned the fire service.