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Castlereagh fire: Upper Braniel Road reopens after huge blaze

Residents were forced from their homes on Friday night as firefighters battled a blaze on the Upper Braniel Road on the outskirts of Belfast.

Forty-five firefighters attended the incident, where a 200 metre exclusion zone was placed around the scene

Fire Service group commander William Johnston confirmed asbestos may have been present.

"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 within 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."

Upper Braniel Road has been reopened. It is not yet known how the fire started.

Police have said the blaze is not being treated as suspicious.

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