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Firefighters battling large blaze at Strabane coffin makers after reported lightning strike

Around 80 firefighters at ‘substantial fire’ at business premises


The fire broke out at Railway Street in Strabane.

The fire broke out at Railway Street in Strabane.

The fire broke out at Railway Street in Strabane.

Around 80 firefighters are battling a substantial fire at a business premises in Strabane town centre. 

A section of the Co Tyrone town has been cordoned off due to the large blaze at Charles O’Doherty & Sons Ltd coffin makers on Railway Street.

Early reports suggested the fire started following a lightning strike on the building.

While there were thunderstorms in the area at the time, the cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed.

Efforts to extinguish the blaze are ongoing. Businesses in the area have been evacuated.

The Northern Ireland Fire Service (NIFRS) said it received a call shortly after 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

There are currently 10 pumping appliances and four specialist vehicles in attendance along with approximately 80 firefighters.

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The operation is expected to continue on Monday, with the public asked to stay out of the area due to the high level of activity and also keep windows and doors closed.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "Police are advising the public that due to a fire on Railway Street in Strabane, they should avoid the area to allow emergency services to deal with the blaze.

"Our officers are at the scene, please follow their directions.”

Sinn Fein councillor Michaela Boyle tweeted: "Massive fire in Strabane town centre twelve fire appliances in attendance, please avoid the Railway road area.

"Residents across this area of the town keep doors and windows closed. Please comply with the fire service and stay away from the area."

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle Martina Anderson shared a video of the incident on Twitter with the caption "Struck by lightning!"

West Tyrone SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan said there had been a "very loud" lightning strike in the area.

"The neighbours in the property next door were not at home as were others so thankfully no-one was injured,” he said.

"This is a very serious incident that has startled this entire community and obviously at this moment in time our thoughts are with the O’Doherty family. This business spans over 100 years and three generations so this is a very difficult moment for them.”

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