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Lightning confirmed as 'most likely' cause of Strabane blaze

A storm warning had been issued across a number of counties prior to the fire.

Image: PA

FIREFIGHTERS HAVE CONFIRMED that the most likely cause of a large blaze at a County Tyrone coffin makers was a lightning strike.

Emergency services were at the scene of the fire at O’Doherty & Sons on Railway Street in the border town. The business has a history of over 100 years at the location. 

A thunderstorm warning was in place across all of Northern Ireland and some counties in the Republic, with several unconfirmed reports from witnesses that the fire was started by a lightning strike.

An investigation by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service confirmed, via twitter, that the most likely cause was the electrical storm. 

“Following our investigation, we can confirm that a lightning strike was the most likely cause of the fire at a commercial premises on Railway Street, Strabane yesterday.

“At the height of the incident 10 Fire Appliances including 4 Specialist Vehicles, and approximately 80 Firefighters were in attendance. Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used jets and Aerial Appliances to tackle the fire.

“Our Firefighters worked hard under challenging conditions, to make sure the fire was kept under control and prevent it spreading to surrounding properties. The incident was dealt with by 12.39pm on Monday 5 July 2021,” 

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Meanwhile police and the fire service are currently at the scene of a fire on Limestone Road in north Belfast.

“The road has been closed between its junctions with Hallidays Road and Atlantic Avenue, and motorists are advised to seek an alternative route.

“People living in the area are advised to stay indoors and keep their windows closed,” a PSNI spokesperson said. 

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