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Police believe Armagh bar broken into, ransacked and set alight

 

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Police believe the Northern Bar in Armagh was broken into in the early hours of Monday, ransacked and set alight. Credit: BBC

Police believe the Northern Bar in Armagh was broken into in the early hours of Monday, ransacked and set alight. Credit: BBC

The Northern Ireland Fire Service are at the scene. (stock picture)

The Northern Ireland Fire Service are at the scene. (stock picture)

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Police believe the Northern Bar in Armagh was broken into in the early hours of Monday, ransacked and set alight. Credit: BBC

Police believe a large blaze at a bar in Armagh may have been started deliberately.

More than 30 firefighters were involved in dealing with the well-developed fire at the Northern Bar on Railway Street.

Detectives believe the fire, which started at around 8am, was an arson attack.

Inspector Gary Moore said: "Following an inspection of the premises we believe that entry had been gained to the bar sometime in the early hours of this morning and the bar then ransacked and set alight.

"We are also investigating an incident at Mullacreevie Park, where a white Audi A6 car was set alight shortly before 5am this morning. We are currently working to establish if both incidents are linked."

"Our enquiries are at an early stage and I would appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the Railway Street area, or at Mullacreevie Park, to contact officers in Armagh on 101 quoting reference number 182 04/03/19.

A NIFRS spokesman said: “Four Fire Appliances from Armagh, Keady, Portadown and Lisburn Fire Stations attended the incident along with the Command Support Unit from Lisburn Fire Station. 

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"Integral to Firefighting operations was the new Turntable Ladder Appliance based at Portadown Fire Station which also attended the incident. This enabled Firefighters to attack the fire from a height to quickly bring it under control.

“The call was received at 7.55am this morning (4 March 2019) and it was initially thought that there were people trapped within the premises. 

"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly carried out a search of the building to confirm that no one was inside.

"The complex layout of the building, combined with floors that had been compromised due to the intensity of the fire, added significant challenges for firefighting operations. Firefighters worked hard to contain the fire and prevented it from spreading to adjacent buildings.

“The cause of the fire is under investigation.  The incident was dealt with at 3.54pm”

It's the second such fire at a bar in Northern Ireland after a petrol bomb attack on The Scotch House in Bushmills in the early hours of Monday morning.

Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster which represents those in the pub trade described the fires as "devastating".

"Our thoughts are with the management and staff at this sensitive time and we’ll do all we can to support them.”


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