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Residents evacuated and 27 firefighters tackle three-shed blaze suspected of being deliberate

Residents were evacuated in the early hours of Wednesday morning as almost 30 firefighters tackled a three-shed blaze in Banbridge.

The blaze – suspected of being an arson attack – saw three sheds go up in flames on Hockley Terrace around 3am.

A Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Spokesperson said: “Over the course of the incident, one appliance each from Dromore and Lurgan fire stations and two appliances from Banbridge fire station attended the incident.

“An aerial appliance from Portadown fire station, a water tanker from Warrenpoint fire station and a command support unit from Lisburn fire station also attended the incident.

“Approximately 27 Firefighters were in attendance at the height of the incident.”

A cordon was established and local residents were evacuated for their own safety to Banbridge Leisure Centre as some of the sheds were used to store gas cylinders.

The spokesperson continued: “This was a challenging incident and firefighters worked well, with our partners, to make the area safe as quickly as possible.

“Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used two jets, two hose reel jets and the water tower from the aerial appliance to extinguish the fire.

“The incident was dealt with by 9.10am and the cause of the fire is believed to have been deliberate ignition.”

Police have appealed for information

Inspector Rocks said: “The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and we would appeal to anyone who may have noticed anything unusual in the area between 2:30am and 3am to get in touch with us by calling 101.”

Information can also be given on the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/

The Scarva Road was closed for some time as emergency services dealt with the fire, but has since re-opened.

A number of homes were also evacuated as a result of the blaze, however, all residents have now been allowed to return home.

Inspector Rocks added: “We would like to thank all the residents who had to leave their homes for their patience as the fire was being dealt with. We’d also like to thank the local Council for opening a rest centre to accommodate those impacted.”

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