A Ballymena community have been plunged into mourning this evening after the death of a young girl (12) in a house fire.
The blaze broke out at a property at Staffa Drive in the Ballykeel area of the town when a report was received at around 5:50pm.
Emergency services from NIFRS, NIAS and Police attended the scene but tragically a young child, believed to be just 12 years-old, lost their life as a result of the blaze.
The child’s name has been released locally aa Brook according to Ballymena Daily , a pupil of Dunclug Collage.
North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has said: “This is indeed a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the young child who has sadly lost their life in this fire.
“No one can begin to imagine the grief the family is going through and they will need all the support and comfort the local community and further afield can give.
“Our thoughts are also with the Fire and Rescue Service and the other emergency services who attended this sad incident.”
Whilst the TUV MLA Jim Allister and local Councillor Matthew Armstrong have also spoken following the sad news saying:
“Within hours of a murder in the Ballykeel area of Ballymena the estate has been plunged into fresh sorrow with the tragic death of a young girl in a house fire.
“To now hear of this young girl’s death is devastating. The community rescue efforts were commendable but, alas, to no avail In respect of the child.“
Cllr Armstrong knows family members and said, “There are no words adequate to address the horror of this situation. My heart goes out to the distraught and devastated family. I’ve no doubt the tight knit community in Ballykeel will rally round, but there is a void here which will never be filled.”
The circumstances of the blaze remain unclear and an investigation by specialist fire investigators will follow to determine the cause.
According to NIAS, another male who was in the house was taken to Antrim Area Hospital for treatment.
Thoughts with the family & friends of Brooke at this difficult time,