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Police investigating fire at waste recycling plant in Belfast

Crews from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the PSNI attended the scene of the incident at Bailey Waste in Limestone Road.

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Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service tackle a fire at Bailey Waste Recycling on the Limestone Road in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service tackle a fire at Bailey Waste Recycling on the Limestone Road in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service tackle a fire at Bailey Waste Recycling on the Limestone Road in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Police are investigating suspected arson following a fire at a waste recycling plant in Belfast.

Crews from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) attended the scene of the incident at Bailey Waste Ltd, Limestone Road, Belfast, on Monday evening.

Six fire trucks and 46 firefighters were deployed to fight the blaze, which has been brought under control, while members of the PSNI also attended the scene.

Nobody was injured in the attack but it is feared that up to £16,000 of damage was done at the facility.

Director Paddy McBride told the PA news agency: “It’s devastating.

“Luckily enough we have no structural damage or machinery damage, it’s only material damage.

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“We have about £16,000 worth of material damage.

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Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) tackle a fire at Bailey Waste Recycling on the Limestone Road in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) tackle a fire at Bailey Waste Recycling on the Limestone Road in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

PA

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) tackle a fire at Bailey Waste Recycling on the Limestone Road in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

“Nobody was hurt though. I don’t care about that as long as nobody was hurt, that’s the big thing. I had five lads on the site and it could have been them.

“If they hadn’t seen it, somebody could have been burnt.”

Mr McBride said that there are 10 employees working on the site, who are “very shaken up” by the events.

“Two of the lads here were crying. The lads are just doing a day’s work and for this to happen. There’s no need for it to happen” he said.

Help in tackling the blaze came from staff at a nearby tractor dealership, Tractormatic, who arrived to assist with a mechanical digger.

Mr McBride said: “I have to say fair play to McCann’s beside us, the Massey dealers.

“They came up with a big digger and to dig a fire break, and it stopped it spreading, it kept it squared off in an area. The fire is under control now, it’s only smouldering. We just have to dig out stuff. Everything is 100%.”

He added that there were no problems with the machinery on site that could have caused the blaze.

It is understood the PSNI is examining CCTV footage and that foul play is suspected.

The fire began when large quantities of waste paper caught fire, resulting in a large smoke cloud towering high above the local area.

People have been asked to avoid the area.

A statement said: “NIFRS are attending an incident at Bailey Waste Ltd, Limestone Road, Belfast.

“A large quantity of waste paper is on fire and creating a large smoke plume in the local area.

“NIFRS have asked residents in the Limestone Road, Glencollyer Street and Mileriver Street (area) to keep their doors and windows closed as a precaution.

“There are currently six pumping appliances and one specialist appliance dealing with this incident.

“Crews have taken swift action to control the fire and to prevent fire spread to adjacent properties. A total of 46 NIFRS personnel are dealing with this incident.”

It is the second significant fire in Northern Ireland in as many days, after a business in Strabane erupted in flames on Sunday after being struck by lightning.

The fire service has confirmed that the blaze which gutted coffin-makers O’Doherty and Sons on Railway Street was caused by lightning during storms on Sunday.

At its height, 80 firefighters, 10 fire engines and four special appliances fought the blaze. Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used jets and aerial appliances.

Following an investigation on Monday, the NIFRS confirmed the incident had begun as a result of a lightning strike.

“Following our investigation, we can confirm that a lightning strike was the most likely cause of the fire at a commercial premises on Railway Street, Strabane, yesterday,” the statement said.

“Our firefighters worked hard under challenging conditions, to make sure the fire was kept under control and prevent it spreading to surrounding properties.

“The incident was dealt with by 12.39pm on Monday July 5 2021.”


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