Belfast Telegraph

Derry warehouse arson: Firefighters prevent flames and toxic fumes spreading to homes

By Brendan McDaid

Security is being reviewed at industrial units following an arson attack which sparked a massive warehouse blaze in Londonderry.

As toxic tyre fumes poured out of the building, situated near homes in the village of Newbuildings, six fire appliances and an aerial appliance were drafted in to bring the blaze under control.

A Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said the derelict building off the main Derry to Strabane route was “well alight” when firefighters arrived shortly before 10pm on Wednesday.

It took more than four hours to extinguish the Woodside Road blaze as residents looked on into the early hours of yesterday.

A substantial number of tyres at the warehouse were destroyed in the arson attack.

DUP councillor and Newbuildings resident Gary Middleton condemned the incident and warned that lives could have been put at risk if the fire had spread or the toxic smoke had carried over to nearby homes.

Mr Middleton, who attended the scene, said: “I received reports two days before this that youths had been spotted in another vacant building in front of this one and that they had broken in.

“There had been talk of these buildings being developed a few years ago but since the recession there has been no movement whatsoever. The buildings are sitting there and they are an eyesore.

“The arson attack could have endangered a lot of lives if the Fire Service had not contained it in the way they did. People were worried because they did not know what was in the building — there might have been asbestos or material that could prove explosive in a fire, nobody knew.

“I have spoken to the developer and security is now being reviewed on the site.”

Elsewhere, the Fire Service confirmed that three children and two adults escaped from a house fire in Limavady. The blaze occurred at around 4.26am on Wednesday at Greystone Park.

A Fire Service spokeswoman said police are investigating the cause of the fire.

Belfast Telegraph

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