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Close thing as falling rubble just misses baby

Ceiling collapses twice in six weeks

By Francesca Ryan

A West Belfast mother has spoken of how she’s living in fear after her kitchen ceiling collapsed for the second time in six weeks. Christine Conlon says the Fold Group, who own her Sliabh Dubh View home, cannot trace the source of the problem that saw parts of the ceiling fall in, narrowly missing her eight month-old son.

“This is the second time this has happened in a matter of weeks,” Christine told the Andersonstown News.  “On Sunday I was sitting in the kitchen feeding the baby in his high chair when I noticed drips of water landing on his chair, after what happened last time, I knew to move him immediately. Soon after parts of the ceiling just fell in.”

There is obvious damage to the ceiling in the kitchen while the floor tiles have also been affected as well as carpet in an upstairs room.  The damage from the previous collapse is also still visible and Christine says Fold have yet to replace the carbon monoxide alarm.

“The alarm was damaged the last time the ceiling came in. They said they would order me a new one but I’ve been waiting six weeks and nobody has come here to replace it.  It’s another worry I could do without.

“With the ceiling, they don’t seem to know what the problem is. I want to know why it’s happening but they can’t tell me. I just want it fixed because I’m scared it will happen again. I live here with my three kids and I just won’t be able to rest until this problem is sorted permanently.”

A spokesman for the Fold Group said a maintenance officer has twice replaced fittings at Christine’s home.

“We arranged for our electrical contractor to make safe and test the electrics on Monday 18 June 2012,” he added.

“We also arranged for our boiler service  contractor to check that the heating boiler was operating correctly.  They attended on Tuesday 19 June 2012 and replaced the boiler thermostat as a precautionary measure and confirmed the boiler was operating correctly.”

Further work on Christine’s house, he said, is expected to be completed by Monday.

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