Northern Ireland

Galgorm Resort and Spa in County Antrim evacuated due to fire

The fire at the Galgorm Resort and Spa began shortly after 09:00 BST Image copyright Mark Beattie
Image caption The fire at the Galgorm Resort and Spa began shortly after 09:00 BST

The Galgorm Resort and Spa near Ballymena in County Antrim has been evacuated because of a fire.

The blaze, which began in a roof space of the main auditorium, started shortly after 09:00 BST on Tuesday.

A total of 47 fire fighters and six appliances attended the scene.

Alan O'Neill, of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire, which is thought to have been accidental, had now been extinguished.

"We are currently working with the hotel management to restore the normal business for the hotel," he added.

"The fire has damaged a room approximately 25 metres by 10 metres and we have had six fire fighting appliances on the scene and 47 fire fighting personnel.

"There is significant fire damage to that particular room and there is some surrounding smoke damage.

"We will remain there for the next number of hours to carry out a salvage operation and further investigations."

Mark Beattie, who is staying at the hotel, described the scene on Tuesday morning.

Image copyright Patrick McColgan
Image caption Hotel guests were among those who had to leave the building

"When we made our way outside the building, there was smoke billowing from the main office building and three fire trucks had arrived as well," he said.

"We have just got word that the fire has been put out and they are making the hotel safe for guests to go back in."

In a statement, Galgorm Resort and Spa said there was an evacuation due to an "electrical fire".

"We would like to thank all our guests for their co-operation and express our gratitude to the fire service for their immediate and professional support," it added.

"We are now back in the Resort and working hard to get all of our systems back up and running."