Firefighters’ lives were put at risk by arsonists who set fire to a derelict building in Lurgan, a senior NIFRS officer said.
Traffic was diverted away from the town’s High Street for several hours on Sunday before the blaze was brought under control.
Group Commander Max Joyce told Q Radio that whoever caused the fire “put firefighters’ lives in direct danger”.
He added: “These people need to think long and hard about starting a fire in a property like that.”
DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said: “As well as being a commercial area there are people living in flats above some of these shops and if the fire had spread it could have been a risk to life,”
Her DUP colleague Upper Bann MP David Simpson praised the work of the NIFRS for their prompt response and efficient handling of the situation, and added: “The scale of fire was significant and we must allow the emergency services time to carry it their investigations but I am assured that the area will reopen as soon as possible.”