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Man, 82, feared dead in house fire

Searches are expected to resume tomorrow for an 82-year-old farmer feared dead in a house fire.

Specialist surveyors are due to examine the property at Ballynafern Road, Annaclone, in Co Down which was gutted in the blaze.

Fire crews were called out just before 7.30am on Saturday. Three pumping appliances and an aerial unit were deployed in an effort to bring the flames under control and firefighters spent several hours at the scene.

However, the elderly farmer whom it is believed uses a wheelchair, remains unaccounted for.

It is understood part of the first floor of the farmhouse has collapsed.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service group commander Lloyd Crawford said officers had to ensure it was safe before re-starting the search operation..

He said: "Fire crews left the scene at about 4.20pm and handed the scene to the PSNI.

"Because of what has happened the building is unstable and the PSNI want a surveyor to come out to assess it to make sure it is safe to go into.

"That's probably going to happen on Monday and then we can go in and try to find the missing man."