Northern Ireland

Investigation launched after fire sweeps through industrial estate outside Newry

Fire fighters at the scene of the blaze on an industrial estate outside Newry. Picture by NIFRS
Fire fighters at the scene of the blaze on an industrial estate outside Newry. Picture by NIFRS Fire fighters at the scene of the blaze on an industrial estate outside Newry. Picture by NIFRS

Significant damage has been caused to several businesses after a huge blaze ripped through an industrial estate.

More than 60 fire fighters were on the scene during the fire's most intense period after it was first reported around 12.30am on Thursday.

Ten units on the Loughbrook Industrial Estate on the Camlough Road close to Bessbrook, Co Armagh were damaged. Crews remained at the scene late on Thursday afternoon.

Businesses affected include Newry Furniture Centre, AX Board, The Cane Centre and Crilco.

Crews remained at the scene many hours after the fire was first reported around 12.30am on Thursday
Crews remained at the scene many hours after the fire was first reported around 12.30am on Thursday Crews remained at the scene many hours after the fire was first reported around 12.30am on Thursday

In a statement on social media, the owners of Ax Board, Stephen McDermott and Cathy West, said they woke in the morning to "the devastating news that Loughbrook Industrial Estate has been severely damaged by fire". 

"We are overwhelmed with the kindness we are being shown by our staff and the community. It means so much at such a difficult time," they said.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the fire "caused significant damage to several of the industrial units". 

"Firefighters have worked hard overnight to prevent the fire from spreading to other units within the complex," a spokesperson said, adding an investigation into how the fire started is underway.

In a joint statement, Slieve Gullion Councillors Oonagh Magennis and Declan Murphy said: "The Loughbrook Industrial Estate was home to a number of businesses, providing jobs to many people from the local area. 

"This will be a huge blow to the local community just weeks away from Christmas. We will be happy to offer any advice or assistance to the businesses impacted in the weeks ahead."