Kilkeel family's 'angel' in the night alerts them to house fire

Louise McDowell


Louise McDowell

A Kilkeel family wants to say a sincere thank you to the “angel” who alerted them that a fire had spread to their home while they were sleeping.

Kate Matthews was sleeping in a downstairs bedroom of her Grange Manor home when she and her husband were woken by a man banging on their door shouting “fire, fire” at around 4am on Tuesday, 2 October.

“He had, I assume, been driving past and noticed that the shed was on fire and stopped his car to tell us.

“He had alerted three neighbours as well by the time we had got upstairs to get our boys out.”

Kate - who has three sons aged 16,14 and 8 - said that their hero had told her “I am a fisherman living the south and was travelling home”.

She said fire crews were called and extinguished the shed fire, which they said was “well alight on their arrival”. The Fire Service confirmed the fire had spread to the semi-detached home of the Matthews family.

“Our neighbours took us in to their house and got us dressing gowns. When I went to find the man again to say thank you he had disappeared.

“I cannot even remember what he looks like even, as there was a lot going on.”

Kate put an appeal on social media to try and find the person who she said had “disappeared when he knew we had all got out of the house”.

She said it was thanks to him that her family was unable to escape unharmed.

“One fisherman did get in touch with me and gave me another man’s name. He thought he might be able to help. I sent him a message but I got no reply.

“We would just like to say thank you to him as it could have been a whole lot worse had he not stopped and alerted us. It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened,” said Kate.

Kate said that the damage to their home has meant that they are currently unable to live there. She had been living at her sister’s home with her youngest son, while her husband and two older boys were staying with their granny until another “knight in shining armour” came to their aid.

“It was through a friend of a friend that a man said to us that we could move into a furnished house in Ballymartin. So we moved into that house last Friday (12 October),” said Kate.

“Kindness like this just shows you that people can be so nice,” she said.

“We wish to thank our neighbours and the fire services, and if anyone has any information on who this person was that ensured we got out of our house safely, we would really appreciate it,” she added.

Anyone who thinks they can help put Kate in touch with the family’s hero, we can pass on your details. Just call The Outlook on 028 4063 0202 or email

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