East Belfast Alliance MLA, Naomi Long, and Pottinger Alliance Councillor, Máire Hendron, have paid tribute to the work of the Fire Service, Police, Eastern Health and Social Services Trust and the City Council staff for their response to the fire in East Belfast after visiting the scene this evening.
The fire, at a garage in the Beersbridge Road area, has resulted in around 115 families being displaced from their homes overnight, whilst fire crews continue to work at the scene to bring the blaze under control and prevent further explosions of gas tanks on the site.
Cllr Naomi Long MLA said, “We would like to pay tribute to the Fire Service who have been working throughout the afternoon, in very dangerous circumstances, to bring the blaze under control and who, along with the Police, have been working to ensure the safety of local residents.
“The staff at nearby Avoniel Leisure Centre, which has been opened to provide emergency accommodation, have also remained to assist displaced families in any way they can. The Eastern Health and Social Services staff are at the leisure centre, and were working hard to provide food and bedding for people who will be unable to return home tonight.
Cllr Máire Hendron added, “This has been an extremely distressing and worrying time for local people, but when we visited the scene tonight we were impressed by just how well all the services have pulled together to make things as safe and comfortable as possible in the circumstances. We
also need to ensure that local people have support in the coming days, as some the houses in the area have been damaged in the fire.”