Men arrested after major blaze at former customs site

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Two men have been arrested after a major blaze at a former customs site in Newry.

NI Fire and Rescue Service were alerted to the blaze just after 1am this morning,

A fire engine

A fire engine

Crews from Newry, Rathfriland, Warrenpoint and Portadown were tasked to the fire.

SDLP Cllr Michael Savage praised teh fire crews who he said arrived within three minutes of being alerted.

Cllr Savage said: “NI Fire and Rescue Service where on the scene to tackle an extensive blaze which engulfed the large industrial unit in the grounds of the former Customs Clearance Station at Carnbane Way, on the outskirts of Newry City.

“Newry fire crews got the call at 1.07am after local residents heard a loud bang and were on the scene within 3 minutes.

“Two appliances from Newry arrived first and were assisted by 2 appliances from Rathfriland, one from Newtownhamilton and one from Warrenpoint.

“An aerial platform appliance was also brought in from Portadown to provide a water tower to help bring the fire under control.

“Up to 40 fire fighters, some using breathing apparatus brought the blaze under control within a couple of hours, containing the fire to the one building.

Cllr Savage added: “Local fire crews are to be commended for their swift response in dealing with this major blaze and their bravery in tackling this serious fire.

“The Newry crews were on the scene within three minutes. Praise must also go to local residents who raised the alarm. The cause has yet to be determined but a full fire investigation team will be carrying out work this morning to determine the cause. I am just thankful that no one was hurt.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Two men, aged 19 and 53, arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire at a property on Shepherds Way in Newry during the early hours of this morning have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.”