Northern Ireland news

Van fire at shopping centre treated as accidental

A van that caught fire outside Ards Shopping Centre on Wednesday. Picture by Mal McCann
Staff reporter

A vehicle blaze at a Co Down shopping centre is being treated as accidental, the fire service has confirmed.

The fire was reported in the vicinity of Ards Shopping Centre in Newtownards at around 12:15pm on Wednesday.

Images shared on social media showed plumes of smoke rising from the car park area of the centre.

A spokesperson for the fire service said firefighters wearing breathing apparatus arrived in one appliance, and used water jets to extinguish the flames.

The spokesperson said the fire is being treated as accidental, and firefighters left the scene at around 1.10pm.

Meanwhile, a suspicious object that sparked a security alert in Newtownards on Wednesday was later declared nothing untoward.

The object was reported before noon, and police closed part of the Bangor Road and diverted motorists as an investigation got underway.

The road was later reopened, and a PSNI spokesperson said: "We would like to thank the public for their patience and cooperation."

Northern Ireland news