The Fire and Rescue Service is treating as accidental a fire that gutted a top floor flat in Derry City Centre last night.
The Fire Brigade was called out just after 10pm to an address on Prince’s Street in the Clarendon Street area of the city.
Four pumping appliance crews and one aerial appliance — similar to an old style cherry picker — attended the fire that took four hours to put out.
Fire crews found the top floor flat of a four storey terraced property on fire.
Wearing breathing apparatus the crews entered the property and discovered that the fire was a “slow burner”.
This meant that the fire had had time to take a firm hold and the crews had to work hard to stop the fire spreading into the adjoining terraced properties.
The firemen had to gain entry to the next door properties and make sure that the fire had not spread through the roof space.
There was nobody in the upstairs flat and one man in the downstairs flat was evacuated without any problems. Nobody else was found in any of the flats or in the adjoining properties.
Station commander Kevin Lynch said: “The Fire and Rescue Service was called out after 10pm to Prince’s Street.
“The fear was that it would spread into the roof space and had to work hard to contain the fire.
“Four pumping appliances and an aerial appliance attended the fire. The aerial appliance has proved to be very effective.
“It took four hours to complete this job. We are treating this fire as accidental. We have no reason to believe otherwise.”
He added: “It took quite a bit of work to stop the fire. If it had gotten through the roof space then the other properties would have been endangered. The crews had to work in very hot conditions to put it out.”