Lightning strike causes major blaze - 46 firefighters at the scene

A fire has broken out at a recycling plant in Belfast, with 46 firefighters deployed to tackle the blaze.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 5th July 2021, 8:05 pm
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 8:51 pm

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

Large quantities of paper have caught fire, resulting in a large smoke cloud towering high above the local area.

People are being asked to avoid the area.

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Firefighters are battling a large fire at a recycling company in north Belfast. The blaze, at Bailey Waste NI on the Limestone Road, started on Monday afternoon. There is a large smoke plume and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service is urging people living in the area to stay indoors and keep their windows closed. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.

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 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 5 July 2021.”

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