Belfast Telegraph

Repairs begin at apartments damaged by Belfast bonfire

By Brett Campbell

Remedial work has started on an apartment block that sustained scorch damage from a bonfire on the Eleventh Night and are expected to be finished within 10 days.

Property management firm MB Wilson & Co confirmed the cost of repairing all 22 flats at Sandy Row in Belfast will be covered by insurers.

"The reason the work is only being carried out now is simply down to logistics," the firm's Michael Wilson told the Belfast Telegraph.

"We had to gain access to each individual apartment, as did the glaziers, and that is not an easy thing to do.

"They needed to measure up - these units aren't just off the shelves, they need to be the right size, and that process took time."

Firefighters spent the Eleventh Night dousing the Victoria Place tower on Wellwood Street to stop it catching fire.

But windows were still shattered by the heat and the exterior of the building was damaged.

Confusion arose in the days that followed over who would foot the hefty repair bill, with both the Government and Belfast City Council ruling out the payment of compensation to residents.

At the time South Belfast MP Emma Little-Pengelly pledged to work with the community to ensure there was no repeat of bonfire damage.

Mr Wilson said the repair process was further delayed as the windows are required to be fitted from inside the apartments.

"The involvement of all the owners was crucial for this process, and given the time of year, a lot of people have been away on holiday," he added.

"We have done this as quickly as possible and we are almost there. All the work should be completed within the next 10 days or so."

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