We all could have died

Sarah Gibson clearing up her home at Rinvarna Court.
Sarah Gibson clearing up her home at Rinvarna Court.

A pregnant Coleraine woman has been recalling the moment she dropped her four-year-old son out of their burning home in a bid to save his life.

Sarah Carson’s Rinvarna Court home was maliciously set on fire last Sunday night. Police are treating the incident as attempted murder.

Speaking to the Times this week, Sarah said that had it not been for the smoke alarm in their rented Coleraine property, the family would not have been alerted to the fire, and may have died.

Sarah, who has two sons, aged nine and four, is eleven weeks pregnant,

The 26-year-old said she will never forget the look on her nine-year-old son Josh’s face as he clung to her as the bedroom they were in filled with thick black smoke.

“Josh was clinging to me, his wee face - I will never forget it, he was so scared.

“I shouted out of the window for help, and someone told me to wrap Josh up in a blanket and drop him out of the window.

“It was one of the scariest things I have ever had to do in my life. I just wanted him to get out of the house, he was telling me he was going to die, he couldn’t breathe.”

Sarah’s partner, Martin Fisher, and her youngest son were in a bedroom to the rear of the property and theyhad to be rescued by the fire service.

Martin recalled: “When the smoke alarm went off I wasn’t sure what had happened, I saw the front door on fire and I ran up stairs to alert Sarah, I just shouted we need to get out someone is trying to kill us.”

“We are just so thankful that we are still here today,” said Sarah. “Every time I think of what happened I realise how lucky we are to be alive.”

In the past week locals have been donating clothes, money, food and toys to the young family.

“I cannot thank those who have donated enough.

“We walked away with nothing, everything in our house has been ruined.

“All that we are left with was what we were standing in that night, but the community have really rallied around. I can’t thank those people enough for what they have done for us.”

Holding back the tears Sarah added: “It’s the sentimental things like photographs of the boys at their first days at school, we will never get those things back again.”

Sarah said that both of her sons have been affected by the incident. “They are emotionally scarred, they are not saying much, but you just know that they are not themselves. Martin and I are trying to be brave and hold things together, but it’s really hard.”