Pictured: Schoolgirl, 12, who died in Ballymena house fire

Pictured: Schoolgirl, 12, who died in Ballymena house fire as her devastated mother says ‘I have already buried a child – now I have to bury another’

  • Brooke Reid McMaster was left trapped as flames ripped through her home
  • Efforts were made to save the Year 9 pupil but she tragically died at the scene
  • GoFundMe page set up to cover funeral expenses and support the family

A ‘beautiful’ and ‘sweet’ schoolgirl who died in a Ballymena house fire has been pictured for the first time.

Brooke Reid McMaster, 12, was trapped and screaming for help as flames ripped through her home in the Northern Ireland town. 

Efforts were made to break down the door and try and save the Year 9 Dunclug College pupil but she tragically died at the scene.

A man who was in the house was later taken to hospital for treatment. 

Her mother, Martha McMaster, who previously lost another child, told the Ballymena Daily: ‘I am totally devastated, I have already buried a child and now I will have to bury another one.’ 

Brooke Reid McMaster, 12, was trapped and screaming for help as flames ripped through her home in the Northern Ireland town

Efforts were made to break down the door and try and save the Year 9 Dunclug College pupil but she tragically died at the scene

A family friend has set up a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses and support the McMaster family, who have also lost their home

Brooke’s grandfather Billy McMaster added: ‘I am only 59 and I buried my first son and this will be my third grandchild.’    

Emergency services were called to the blazing property in the Staffa Drive area of Ballykeel at around 5.50pm on Wednesday evening. 

Police attended the scene alongside ambulance and fire and rescue services, but paramedics were unable to save her.

A local councillor described the incident as an ‘unspeakable and unimaginable tragedy’ while Dunclug College principal Ruth Wilson said staff and pupils recorded ‘deep sorrow’ at the news.

Meanwhile, a family friend has set up a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses and support the McMaster family, who have also lost their home. 

Cllr Matthew Armstrong said: ‘My deepest sympathies to the family and everyone involved.

‘It is an unspeakable and unimaginable tragic event and one in an area that has sadly been no stranger to tragedies in last short period of time. 

‘Sometimes in all honesty there are no words to express or even to imagine what the family are going through at the minute. I am truly devastated and heartbroken for them all.’ 

Emergency servies were called to the blazing property in the Staffa Drive area of Ballykeel at around 5.50pm on Wednesday evening

Police attended the scene in the Northern Ireland town alongside ambulance and fire and rescue services

Chief Inspector William Calderwood added: ‘Police received a report of the fire at around 5:50pm. Tragically, the girl died at the scene.

‘A man who was in the house was taken to hospital for treatment.

‘The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and will be subject to investigation, in liaison with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

‘There are no further details at this time.’

The incident marked the second death reported in the Ballykeel area of the town on Wednesday after a man’s body was discovered at a flat in Crebilly Drive, sparking a murder investigation.  

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