Northern Ireland

Blaze at derelict Bessbrook meat plant

Scene of the blaze
Image caption The fire happened at Millvale Road in Bessbrook

Thirty-five firefighters have battled a blaze at a derelict meat factory in south Armagh.

The Fire Service was alerted to the incident on the Millvale Road in Bessbrook at about 03:30 BST on Saturday morning.

The fire was brought under control four hours later.

Newry station commander Dermot Rooney said it was a difficult fire to deal with and the building had now collapsed in on itself.

Aerial high-reach appliances had to be used to rain water from above as the building was unsafe to enter.

Mr Rooney said there had been several fires there in the past.

"We believe they're all set deliberately as the factory has not been in use for some time and there's no power connected to it," he said.

Local MLA Danny Kennedy said he also believed the blaze was deliberate.

He added that he was relieved that the prompt actions of fire officers had prevented the blaze spreading to a nearby housing development.