Belfast Telegraph

Belfast residents forced from homes as Castlereagh fire rages

Residents were forced from their homes as firefighters battled a blaze on the Upper Braniel Road in Castlereagh on Friday.

The fire erupted at around 2.50pm.

The Fire Service attended and, as crews tackled the blaze in outbuildings, it then spread to a house.

Forty-five firefighters and eight appliances remained at the scene on Friday night.

Residents within a 200 metre radius of the incident were evacuated from their homes as a safety precaution.

It is not yet known how the fire started. Police have said the blaze is not being treated as suspicious.

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Fire Service Group Commander William Johnston said asbestos could be contained on the site.

"So we had to take all the necessary safety precautions to ensure the safety of the firefighters who are dealing with the incident," he said.

"All residents withing the cordon have been evacuated and as soon as we can we will get them back home."

He added: "There is a difficulty with water supply in the area and we are having to bring extra water and pumping equipment to the scene. 

"We will not know until later what exactly caused the fire that spread from outbuildings to residential property."

The Upper Braniel Road has been closed and is likely to remain so into Saturday.

Police advised motorists to seek an alternative route.

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