Larne house fire victim ‘was a very generous person’

The pensioner who tragically passed away after a fire at her home outside Larne at the weekend had lived in the property all her life.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 2:44 pm

She has been named locally as 88-year-old Meta Haveron.

Miss Haveron who lived alone died in hospital following a fire at her farmhouse home, at Ballyrickard Road, on Saturday afternoon.

Floral tributes have been laid at the detached rural property that has been left gutted by the flames.

Floral tributes at the Ballyrickard Road property.

It is understood that the alarm was raised by a passer-by who called the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) at lunchtime.

Neighbour Mavis McIlroy, from Firgrove Pet Resort, told the Larne Times that Miss Haveron had lived in the property her whole life and it was where she had remained following the death of her parents who had been farmers.

Mrs McIlroy praised the professionalism of the emergency services who attended the property where Meta was rescued from a downstairs room.

The Ballyrickard Road was closed and traffic diverted during the alert at 1.00 pm. An Air Ambulance landed in an adjacent field before paramedics transported Miss Haveron to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for treatment where she died a short time later.

Mrs McIlroy said that the emergency services - paramedics, fire service and police - all “went beyond the call of duty”.

She went on to describe Miss Haveron, who was a member of Raloo Presbyterian Church and had attended Toreagh Primary School in her childhood, as a “lovely, lovely lady” who had a great love for children and “absolutely loved cats”.

“I knew her all my life. She led a very simple life. A lovely lady. One of my sons brought down sticks at Christmas for her. She had a selection box for him. She was always asking about the grandchildren, gave them chocolates and sweets. She was a very generous person.”

A NIFRS spokesperson said: “The thoughts and sympathies of Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) are with the family and friends of a woman who died following a fire in a house on the Ballyrickard Road, Larne.

“On Saturday 27 February 2021 at 1.01pm, firefighters were called to reports of a fire in a house on Ballyrickard Road, Larne. Two fire appliances from Larne Fire Station and one fire appliance from Ballyclare Fire Station attended the incident.

“A female casualty was removed from the house prior to firefighters arriving. The casualty was taken to hospital for treatment, but tragically she died while in hospital.

“Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used three jets to extinguish the fire. The fire was under control by 2.38pm. The cause of the fire is believed to have been accidental ignition.”

Following the tragedy, Mid and East Antrim Borough councillors observed a one-minute silence as a mark of respect at their monthly meeting on Monday evening.

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