Belfast Telegraph

Pictured: Bonfire built close to Northern Ireland petrol station

A bonfire is being constructed across the road from a petrol station in Carrickfergus.

The towering construction, which will be set alight on the Eleventh Night, is located at Prince Andrew Way.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said it is continuing to work closely with partner agencies in relation to the bonfire.

A NIFRS spokesman said: "We continue to work closely with our partner agencies through the Mid & East Antrim Bonfire Liaison Group, as well as the local community, to provide safety advice in relation to the Castlemara bonfire in Carrickfergus.”

Last year a  pensioner and a child had to be rescued from their homes in the lower Shankill's Hopewell Square as fire spread from an Eleventh Night bonfire, destroying three terraced houses.

The inferno was caused by burning embers from the bonfire blowing onto the roofs.

DUP councillor Billy Ashe said he was not aware of "any concerns" regarding the bonfire.

When asked about the damage caused last year in Belfast he said that "hasn't featured down here".

He told the Belfast Telegraph:  "It's very well marshaled and there hasn't been any complaints. It's been one of the quietest bonfire seasons.

"If there are any concerns it's up to the fire service to raise those concerns and to date no-one has."

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “Although this bonfire is not on Council land we are continuing to work closely with the local community to encourage a responsible approach to cultural celebrations. We also continue to support our partner agencies in efforts to ensure the safety of the public.”

The PSNI said they were not the lead agency on bonfires but work "closely with our partner agencies and local communities to address concerns linked to bonfires".

Chief Inspector Stephen Humphries added: “It is our experience that constructive dialogue and engagement involving the community, politicians, public bodies and police is the approach most likely to result in workable solutions on bonfire issues.

“The physical removal of bonfire material is not a matter for police, however we will assist other statutory bodies to carry out their duties subject to the prevailing circumstances.”

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