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Families flee homes after huge farm blaze

By Catherine Lynagh

Families in a Co Londonderry town were forced to leave their homes after a 50ft fire took hold at farm buildings.

At least four families were evacuated at 5am on Saturday while seven fire engines tackled the blaze at out-buildings on Carrowreagh Road in Garvagh.

Police have confirmed they are treating the blaze as suspicious.

Local resident Beverly Galloway was one of those forced to leave her home, along with her husband and two young children.

She said: “It was unbelievable to see the flames so high and very sad to see the building go, I have never seen such a huge fire. We understood the dangers and were happy to evacuate for the sake of our children.”

Peter O’Reilly, from the NI Fire and Rescue Service, said his men fought the flames for five hours.

“A number of houses were evacuated because there was a risk of explosion due to the fertiliser in the premises,” he said.

“Because it was an old building it had a corrugated ceiling which was made out of asbestos. When asbestos is heated the smoke can contain very small particles.”

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