Family of seven killed in house fire

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The Independent Online

A couple and their five children were feared dead today in one of Northern Ireland's worst ever fire tragedies.

The youngest of the victims was a baby, just months old, neighbours said.

Flames swept through a terrace house at Lammy Crescent, Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Fire crews from Omagh and neighbouring towns and villages fought the blaze, which apparently started on the first floor at around 4.30am.

The tiled roof collapsed and neighbours said there was little they could do to save the family, some of whom were spotted upstairs at the height of the fire.

Omagh independent councillor Paddy McGowan, a former fireman, said: "I've never seen anything like it. It must have been a ferocious fire.

"People living in houses next door had to get out. They seem to get away quite quickly.

"Neighbours were hammering on their windows and doors. They could hear screaming from the house which was on fire. There is nothing left but bare, black walls. Absolutely nothing.

"Nobody can believe this has happened. The family has been living there for about four years.

"I've been a fireman for 25 years, and this must be one of the worst losses of life in a single incident that I can remember."