Irish girl, 12, dies in house fire in Co Antrim
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Irish girl, 12, dies in house fire in Co Antrim

A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD girl was tragically killed in a house fire in Ballymena, Co. Antrim leaving the local community in shock.

The incident occurred in the Ballykeel area of the town at 5.50pm on Wednesday evening.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and NI Fire and Rescue Service rushed to scene to tackle the blaze just after 6pm.

It's understood that the girl died at the scene, while a man who was in the house at the time was taken to hospital for treatment after getting injured inside the inferno.

"The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and will be subject to investigation, in liaison with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service," PSNI Chief Inspector William Calderwood said.

Local Councillor Matthew Armstrong gave his "deepest sympathies" to the victim's family after the fire.

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Speaking to Belfast Live, he said: "It is an unspeakable and unimaginable tragic event and one in an area that has sadly been no stranger to tragedies in last short period of time.

"Sometimes in all honesty there are no words to express or even to imagine what the family are going through at the minute. I am truly devastated and heartbroken for them all."

Reverend Martin McNeely from Ballykeel Presbyterian Church said the child's death was "tragic."

"People find it really hard to find the vocabulary to describe the depth of sorrow," he said.

"This is a community which has experienced a tragic murder this morning and now the tragic death of a much loved 12-year-old girl this evening."