Derrytresk couple face huge repair bills after house fire

A couple are counting the cost of extensive repair work following a fire at their home in Derrytresk.

Tracey McLernon and her fiancé, Eugene McStravog, 33, were treated for smoke inhalation following a late-night fire at their home on Derrytresk Road.

Thick smoke and flames caused internal damage to walls, furnishings and appliances.

Care assistant Tracey, 23, said: “The hall had been redecorated four months ago –  it needs redone.

“The kitchen needs decorated, there was a sofa destroyed, a few other bits and pieces and sentimental stuff that can’t be replaced.”

“I don’t have a clue how much it will take to fix all up or when we will get it done.”

She added: “Eugene’s chest is still quite sore. It’s hard sleeping at times as the pictures are still quite vivid.

The fire began at their house on January 29 at about 10.30pm after the couple left a clothes horse in front of their stove, causing the garments to overheat and catch fire.

“We have done it hundreds of times and had left it to go shopping or go to work,” Tracey said.

A smoke alarm alerted the couple to the fire. They were able to put it out with buckets of water before the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service arrived.

Tracey said they would have to come up with the money themselves as they did not have any home insurance policy.

“The strange thing is we had talked about getting insurance in November but never got around to it,” she said.

“Needless to say, it’s at the top of the to-do list now.”

She added: “It’s been a big shock for both of us. It’s slowly sinking in but both of us are very grateful as we are aware it could have been much worse.”


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