Rescued children ‘lucky to be alive’

The scene of Wednesday night's fire at the former Perfecseal factory in Springtown in which two young people had to be rescued by the Fire Service. 0306JM05
The scene of Wednesday night's fire at the former Perfecseal factory in Springtown in which two young people had to be rescued by the Fire Service. 0306JM05
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Two teenage girls rescued from a fire in Derry were yesterday “luck to be alive”, a senior firefighter said.

Firefighters heard the screams of the teenagers when they responded to a fire at a derelict building at the Ballinaska Industrial Estate in Springtown at around 10pm on Wednesday. The 13 and 14 year-olds were rescued from the smoke-filled building, the former Perfecseal premises, by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus. Several fire appliances attended the emergency after being alerted by a member of the public who reported seeing smoke billowing from the building. The girls were treated for mild burns and the effects of breathing in smoke. A third girl escaped uninjured.

Fire Service Assistant group commander, Mark Darrell, said there was evidence that the building was being used as a drinking den and that the girls had been drinking alcohol in the building.

“When crews arrived the building was full of smoke but they could hear girls screaming inside it. It’s every firefighters nightmare. They look at a building like that and know there’s somebody in it. Thankfully, they were able to complete a very successful search and found the two young children in a very distressed state.” The two girl were given first aid at the scene before being taken to hospital.