16/06/2008

Newry City Fire Tackled

A major blaze was tackled at a derelict building in Newry last night.

Six fire crews, backed by an hydraulic platform and water tanker, battled successfully to prevent flames spreading from a former Autopart store to surrounding buildings at Monaghan street and Upper Edward Street in the city.

The cause of the outbreak is being investigated.

Meanwhile, local people are blaming arsonists for a spate of gorse fires that were put out yesterday in the Downpatrick area.

Six fire engines were called to tackle the series of fires in Co Down on Sunday.

According to SDLP MLA Margaret Ritchie, the small fires were lit on the Stroule Road near Downpatrick's Model Farm housing estate.

She said that at one stage the flames were just 15 metres from people's homes.

Ms Ritchie has said that these were arson attacks carried out by young people and were an increasing problem.

"It is very important, not only for parents but for schools and the youth clubs and the wider community, to educate children about the issue of social responsibility," she said.

"They have a care and a duty to the local environment, to their neighbours and to elderly people to ensure that such incidents do not happen.

"They should also be advised about the risks that fire can cause, not only to residents, but to themselves."

(BMcC)

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