Belfast Telegraph

We are bonfire victims: Apartment residents ask who will pay for damage?

Residents of an apartment complex in Belfast have voiced concern over who will pay for the damage caused to their building by an Eleventh Night bonfire.

Windows cracked on the Victoria Place apartment building off the Sandy Row as the bonfire raged just yards away. Firefighters stationed themselves on the roof of the building and battled to cool it down to prevent the fire from spreading.

Residents held a meeting on Thursday night to discuss their concerns.

"This is not about culture, this is damage to people's homes," One resident told the BBC.

"People from all over the world live in this building and one evening a year it becomes a victim, the people living here are victims."

The Housing Executive, which owns the land the bonfire was on, said it is investigating.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service spent hours struggling to prevent a bonfire reaching the 10-storey apartment block at Wellwood Street, between Sandy Row and Great Victoria Street.

Assistant chief fire officer Alan Walmsley said: "We had firefighters on the roof of the apartment block, using a deluge system down the front of the building, trying to cool it down.

"The windows on the front of the building cracked from the heat. If it wasn't for the hard work of our crews in very difficult conditions, there's no doubt the damage would have been much worse," he said.

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