Co Down fire evacuees found alternative accommodation

The scene of a blaze at Church Avenue, Dundrum. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

The Housing Executive has said people made homeless by a Christmas Eve fire in Dundrum, Co Down were found alternative accommodation over the festive period.

The blaze in the early hours of December 24 caused extensive damage to a number of terraced houses at Church Avenue.

The fire melted a number of oil tanks and the interior of one house was destroyed by the blaze.

Two pigeon lofts were caught up in the blaze. Sixty pigeons were killed.

In all, 52 firefighters attended the incident and eight properties had to be evacuated. It is understood that the house that was destroyed was vacant.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and an investigation is under way.

Three additional homes were badly damaged, one of which is Housing Executive property. The others are privately owned.

A spokesman for the Housing Executive said: "All those affected were able to make their own arrangements over Christmas and we will make contact with them later this week to make arrangements for longer term accommodation.

"We will also assess the damage to our property to see what work will be required."

Councillor Mark Murnin praised the residents and Fire Service for their prompt reaction.

"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," he said.

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