Major Co Antrim fire just yards from petrol station

The fire at the JP Corry site in Ballymena

FIREFIGHTERS were tasked to the scene of a major fire in Ballymena last night, directly beside a petrol station.

The blaze started at around 6.30pm at the JP Corry building materials store on the Crankill Road, located just yards from an Applegreen service station.

A total of nine fire vehicles were in use at the scene last night, including; six pumping appliances, an aerial appliance, water tanker and command vehicle, with 27 personnel deployed.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said 36 firefighters are engaged in firefighting operations to the two storey building.

Police also closed the Co Antrim road to traffic in both directions as firefighters worked to bring the flames under control.

Speaking last night Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service group commander, Philip Martin said they were fighting a "well developed fire", but that it was confined solely to the JP Corry site.

He added that significant damage had been caused to the building as a result of the blaze.

A Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) spokesperson said:

Operations have continued through the night and in to this morning.

There are no reported injuries and all persons are accounted for. No cause at present.

North Antrim TUV MLA Jim Allister said: “The loss of the JP Corry site on the A26, which is still fondly remembered by many as ‘Robert Guy’s’, is a great blow to the local community and, in particular, the construction fraternity. The resulting inevitable threat to jobs is an added dimension.

“In empathising with the company on its huge loss, my thoughts are also very much with those whose jobs may now be in jeopardy.

“All, no doubt, are grateful to the emergency services in how they dealt with this challenging situation, particularly given the proximity to the Applegreen filling station and facilities. Ensuring the fire did not spread to those premises was a key achievement.”



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