Firefighters tackle blaze at disused hospital in Downpatrick
The Fire Service has extinguished a blaze that gutted a disused hospital in Downpatrick last night.
The PSNI had asked people to avoid the area and for residents to keep their windows closed as there may be asbestos in the former Downe Hospital.
Three fire engines attended the scene to tackle the fire in the roof space of the derelict part of the old hospital building. A spokesman for the Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said they received a call shortly before 8pm last night to attend the fire.
"The fire had broken through the roof at that stage but it was quite a small blaze," he said.
"It was located in a lift shaft area which spread through the building and then on to the roof.
"Two appliances attended from Downpatrick and one from Newcastle.
"The fire has now been extinguished, but we are working through the remainder of the building before closing our operation down."
The former Downe Hospital site has been lying empty since its closure in 2009.
Locals have previously complained that the disused hospital has been targeted by vandals and thieves.
The site at Pound Lane in the Co Down town was sold in November 2014 for £600,000.