Belfast Telegraph

In Pictures: Belfast landmark goes up in flames

The Bank Buildings are currently home to a Primark store.

A major fire has engulfed a Primark store in the centre of Belfast.

The blaze at the historic five-storey Bank Buildings saw dozens of firefighters attending and a pall of smoke covering the city centre.

Shoppers and staff were evacuated at around 11am on Tuesday as flames tore through the structure.

A firefighter trains a hose on the redstone landmark (Liam McBurney/PA)
The Bank Buildings on Castle Street were designed by Sir Robert Taylor (Liam McBurney/PA)
The landmark was erected in 1785, built in red Dumfries sandstone (Liam McBurney/PA)
Thick smoke covered the city centre (Liam McBurney/PA)
People working nearby were warned to keep their windows closed (Liam McBurney/PA)
But the site of the flames attracted a huge crowd to central Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)
The original bank was known as “The Bank of the Four Johns”, as all four founders went by the name (Liam McBurney/PA)
In 1805, the building was converted into a shop (Liam McBurney/PA)
In 1961 the Bank Buildings underwent total renovation, with a modernised main entrance added at Castle Junction, and the pillars on the ground floor removed (Liam McBurney/PA)
Primark has been based in the store since 1979 (Liam McBurney/PA)
The Dublin-based chain has been operating since 1969 (Liam McBurney/PA)
Primark shoppers and staff were evacuated from the building at around 11am on Tuesday after smoke could be seen billowing from the roof (Liam McBurney/PA)
The historic clock at the top of the building was engulfed in flames before the fire spread from the roof to the floors below (Liam McBurney/PA)


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From Belfast Telegraph