A house has been destroyed in a fire in Dundrum in County Down.
Fifty-two fire-fighters were called out to the incident in Church Avenue at around 00:30 GMT on Sunday.
The blaze had spread to several homes, oil tanks and sheds. Eight properties had to be evacuated. The cause of the fire is not yet known and an investigation is under way.
It is understood that the house that was destroyed was vacant.
Three additional homes were badly damaged, one of which is Housing Executive property. The others are privately owned.
The fire melted a number of oil tanks when it broke out after midnight when most people were sleeping.
The interior of one house was destroyed by the blaze, while others sustained varying degrees of damage including broken windows and melted cladding.
Two pigeon lofts were caught up in the blaze. Sixty pigeons were killed.
One neighbour tried to tackle the blaze with a hose-pipe but gave up once it spread to the oil tanks.
Michael Gibbs was asleep when a neighbour rapped at his door to wake him up.
He said today: "I'm glad to be alive. It if wasn't for my next door neighbour's son, I probably wouldn't be alive."
At least 12 houses affected by blaze which hit street in Dundrum in early hours of Christmas Eve. pic.twitter.com/6AB5XG0RMG— Mark Simpson (@BBCMarkSimpson) December 24, 2017
Max Joyce from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the scale of destruction is significant.
"Thankfully no-one was injured during this, due to the firefighters that arrived and evacuated people," he said.
A nightmare Christmas Eve for people in Dundrum in County Down. But they saved each other. Amazing community spirit. pic.twitter.com/prtqvYjH8U— Mark Simpson (@BBCMarkSimpson) December 24, 2017
"Certainly one property is destroyed so that family will have to leave, and two others I believe have left.
"I feel very, very sorry for several families who are out of their homes this Christmas".
SDLP Councillor Mark Murnin told the BBC News NI that neighbours had helped.
"It was detected very early by a resident when it was just a small flicker and the fire brigade were called quickly.
"I think the fast action of the neighbours has prevented any loss of life, because the scene is devastating".