Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters battled blaze at disused Dungannon school

By Staff Reporter

A fire has devastated buildings at the former St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon.

Clouds of smoke and flame could be seen rising above the school buildings as firefighters battled the blaze, which is thought to have begun in temporary buildings on the disused site.

The NI Fire and Rescue Service said it had scrambled five fire engines, one aerial appliance, two water tankers and a command support vehicle to tackle the blaze at Killymeal Road, on the edge of the town.

A total of 43 firefighters were at the scene last night as the operation to bring the incident under control got under way.

The NIFRS advised the public to stay away from the incident and to keep windows and doors shut as a precaution.

Area Commander Dermot Rooney said: "We are dealing with an incident on the Killymeal Road in Dungannon, it is an unoccupied school and the understanding is the fire started in Portakabins and has spread to the main building."

There are no reports of anyone being injured at the scene.

SDLP councillor Denise Mullen told reporters: "It's such a shame to see this happen. Even if it is now the old school building, many people from Dungannon and the surrounding areas were educated there."

Local MP Michelle Gildernew thanked the emergency services for their swift response, and urged people to be cautious.

"Whether accidental or deliberate, fires are incredibly dangerous and destructive so I would urge everyone to exercise extreme caution," she said.

"I would also like to appeal to everyone to report any suspicious activity, as the deliberate lighting of fires is reckless and completely unacceptable."

Belfast Telegraph

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