A fire which has destroyed a house in Co Down has forced residents from their homes on Christmas Eve, a political representative said.
Eight properties had to be evacuated after a blaze in Dundrum on Saturday night.
The destroyed house was vacant, Cllr Mark Murnin said, adding: “There’s just a scene of total devastation in Dundrum today.
“Last night’s fire seems to have started in an outbuilding. It quickly ripped through a vacant property and has left others uninhabitable today.
“It’s just an unimaginable situation for families that have been forced from their homes on Christmas Eve.”
He said local people noticed the blaze when it was still small, contacted the fire service immediately and alerted neighbours.
Mr Murnin added: “I have no doubt that their quick thinking, combined with the heroism of the 52 firefighters who, in the face of high winds at the scene last night, averted an ever greater tragedy this morning.
“We will do whatever we can to help these families rebuild and make it through the Christmas period.”