'Initial panic' as fire forces Galgorm Resort and Spa luxury hotel evacuation
47 firefighters called to scene for electrical fire
A Galgorm Resort and Spa guest has told of the initial panic among people as a fire broke out at luxury hotel.
Fire erupted in a roof space of one of the 122-room resort's main auditoriums on Tuesday morning.
At around 11am the hotel tweeted to say the staff and guests were back in the hotel and an electrical fire was to blame. There were no reports of any injuries.
The Northern Ireland Fire Service said six appliances and 47 firefighters attended the scene after a call at 9.24am and said they would remain on site for several hours to monitor the situation.
Whole of Galgorm Hotel evacuated because of a fire!! pic.twitter.com/RX9hRlvYVd— Mark Beattie (@mark_beattie_) March 29, 2016
Portadown man Mark Beattie was staying in the hotel for an Easter break with his wife.
He and wife Linzi were getting ready for breakfast in their room when the fire broke out. He said they were notified of a test fire alarm at 10am.
"Then it went off just before 9.30am and we thought it was on for a bit too long, so left the room," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"As soon as we got out into the hall you could smell the smoke and staff were telling people we had to evacuate.
"There was an initial panic among people, but the staff were very good and it calmed down quickly.
"There was smoke billowing from the main office block area."
He added: "There were people in the hot tub at the time and not too happy about having to leave in their swimmers.
"They moved us to the great hall and we were well looked after there.
"There were people in their bare feet and children running about, but we got tea and coffee and the staff were very good," the 28-year-old added.
Mark said that guests were allowed back into the hotel at around 11am.
Recently the resort, which opened in 1998, underwent an £11million expansion.
Belfast Telegraph Digital