High winds behind Boxing Day blazes
Tuesday, 31 December 2013
FIVE people were treated for shock and smoke inhalation after high winds saw two houses catch fire in Mayobridge on Boxing Night.
The gales brought down overhead power cables, which hit the roof of a house in St Anne's Terrace. A blaze was ignited, which quickly spread to the roof of the neighbouring house.
It took 25 fire fighters an hour-and-a-half of tackling the flames before they were successfully brought under control.
Speaking from the scene, Crotlieve councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said she was confident the Mayobridge community would unite to provide the householders with support.
“It has been a difficult night for many people," the SDLP representative said. "I would urge everyone to take note of the advice issued by the PSNI and stay indoors."
Meanwhile, a combination of high winds and an electrical fault caused a fire at one of Newry's most recognisable landmarks on Boxing Day.
Buttercrane Shopping Centre was spared severe damage despite the sign above its main entrance catching fire and falling onto the street below.
Speaking to the Democrat afterwards, centre manager Peter Murray said it was fortunate the fire was relatively minor.
“Luckily the surroundings of the sign are mostly glass and metal , so not particularly flammable," he said. "This, combined with the fire being quickly observed and reported by people on the street and the very swift response of the Fire Service, thankfully meant it didn't develop into something more serious. We're thankful no-one was hurt and it's business as usual at Buttercrane".
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