Northern Ireland news

Crowdfunding page raises £2000 after family's home destroyed in Rathfriland fire

The roof of the house beside the recycling centre has been destroyed 

An online fundraising drive has seen people donate almost £2,000 after a family's home was destroyed during an overnight fire in Rathfriland. 

A man, woman and young child were in the Kiltarriff Drive house when the fire broke out at a neighbouring recycling centre. They were able to leave the building before fire crews arrived at around 1.45am on Tuesday.

A crowdfunding page was set up this morning to help the family following the blaze at their home. A message on the page says the page aimed to raise £1,000 "to help a young family at christmas because a house fire destroyed everything they had."

A police spokeswoman said: "Police in Craigavon are treating a fire at a recycling plant in Rathfriland as suspicious.

"Police received a report of the fire at 1.51am on Tuesday, 22 December. NIFRS were in attendance. A house in nearby Kiltariff Drive also caught fire and was completely destroyed by the blaze. A second house was also damaged.

"Police are now working to establish the exact circumstances of the fire and would like to hear from anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the local area during the early hours of this morning. 

Fire crews are expected to remain at the scene today as they continue to dampen parts of the recycling centre.

Fire service area commander Paddy Gallagher told the BBC: "On arrival, crews noted the fire involved one detached dwelling and plastics stored in the yard of a nearby factory.

"Over 40 firefighters have been involved in fighting the fire, with conditions particularly difficult due to high winds."

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