Blaze destroys shop in Belfast

24 Jul 2012

A blaze in north Belfast devastated a shop and caused considerable damage to many others on Monday morning, although there are no reports of any injuries.

The fire spread to four shops just after 1.15am after it started at the back of a disused storage facility on the Crumlin Road.

The seven fire engines that attended were not able to stop a Spar shop from being completely destroyed and a chemist's shop from being damaged.

According to Fire and Rescue Service group commander Kevin O'Neill, it is not yet possible to tell what caused the fire. "It's much too early to determine a cause. The scene is not safe, there are walls that are now unsupported," he told a reporters.

"It will take some time for us to be able to carry out a full investigation and find out what the cause was."

An appropriate and proper fire risk assessment has to be carried out on all commercial buildings in Northern Ireland, in accordance with the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and the Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.

The Appropriate Person can be given a two-year prison sentence or an unlimited fine if the fire assessment is found to have been conducted insufficiently and unsuitably.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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