Residents rescued amid care home blaze

Residents in a nursing home in Armagh have been rescued by emergency services after a fire broke out overnight. Police officers helped 27 elderly people to leave Greenpark private nursing home on the Keady Road, when the blaze broke out in a switch room just before 3am on Friday.
One resident was taken to hospital for a medical problem, while four police officers and one member of staff were treated for the effects of breathing in smoke.
It took Fire Service crews around three hours to contain the fire.
The Ambulance Service sent four vehicles to the scene and volunteers from St John Ambulance also provided assistance.
“When we received the call just before 3am, the major incident plan swung into action,” said John McPoland from the Ambulance Service.
“Lucky the blaze, which was in an electrical switch room, was not large but it did create a lot of smoke, which obviously upset a lot of the residents.
“Thankfully, no one was injured during the incident, although a few people – including police officers who were first on the scene – had to be treated for smoke inhalation.”
Ulster Unionist MLA for Newry and Armagh Danny Kennedy praised the emergency services for their response to the incident.
“Thanks to them, residents of the care home were quickly moved to safety and no one has been seriously injured,” he said.
“Given that the care home houses a large number of pensioners, many of whom have health problems, this could have been much more serious.”
Police said the fire is not being treated as suspicious.