Belfast Telegraph

Sion Mills blaze leads to calls to secure derelict building

The fire at Herdman's Mill
The fire at Herdman's Mill

Four fire engines are at the scene of a fire at Herdman's Mill in Sion Mills which started on Monday evening.

NIFRS received a call at 6.38PM about a fire at a derelict building in the area.

The fire at Herdman's Mill
The fire at Herdman's Mill

Fire engines from Strabane and Newtownstewart are attending at the blaze as well as four jet appliances.

In 2014, Herdman's Mill was bought by Strabane woman Margaret Loughrey for £1m after she won almost £27m in the Euromillions lottery draw.

In October 2015, the historic mill complex was seriously damaged in a blaze.

It's led to calls for the building to be brought into public hands after several arson attacks at the site.

"This site has been subjected to numerous arson attacks before and I suspect this may be another albeit it it still too early to tell. If arson is confirmed, I would call on anyone with information to come forward," said SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan.

"The history of the area is being allowed to go up in smoke and this should no longer be the case. Public bodies, including the Council and the Department for Communities, need to step in to secure the Mill otherwise it will be completely lost," he said.

"Either that or private sector investors who are willing to spend money and create much needed jobs for the area."

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