Belfast church blaze leaves minister and firefighter hospitalised
This is the charred scene inside a church on the outskirts of Belfast today, where a firefighter was injured while tackling a fire.
Eight fire engines and over 30 firefighters were sent to combat the blaze in St Colman's Church, Dunmurry, overnight.
Minister Adrian McLaughlin discovered the roof was on fire at about 1am when he went to let his cat out - and tried to tackle the fire himself.
He was taken to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and kept on oxygen for about four to five hours before being discharged.
A fireman was then hurt by masonry falling on top of him.
A sign on the door today reads "Please do not call as we are exhausted. Thank you for your concern and prayers, the Rector" - followed by a drawing of a sad face.
A Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said the 999 call was received at 1.08am.
“Two fire appliances from Lisburn Fire Station, two fire appliances from Cadogan Fire Station, two fire appliances from Springfield Fire Station and one from Central Fire Station were deployed to the scene. Assistance was also provided by the Fire Emergency Support Service appliance.
“Firefighters using four jets, two hosereel jets, thermal imaging cameras, one nine-metre ladder and a triple extension ladder were used to deal with a fire in the roof of a church in the area. One firefighter was taken to hospital with non-serious injuries, following masonry falling on him during the incident.
“Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service finished at the scene at 5:20am and the fire is being treated as accidental.”