Firefighters called from far and wide to tackle Riverside Centre blaze

25 MARCH 2019 MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA NIFRS received a call at approximately 22:00hrs tonight to a fire in a building in the Riverside Regional Centre, Coleraine. Seven fire appliances and approximately 35 firefighters from Coleraine, Portstewart, Portrush and Londonderry attended the scene the scene.PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA
25 MARCH 2019 MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA NIFRS received a call at approximately 22:00hrs tonight to a fire in a building in the Riverside Regional Centre, Coleraine. Seven fire appliances and approximately 35 firefighters from Coleraine, Portstewart, Portrush and Londonderry attended the scene the scene.PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

A major fire broke out at the Riverside Regional Centre in Coleraine on Sunday evening.

The Northern Ireland Fire Service said it received a call at approximately 10pm to a fire in a building in the Riverside Regional Centre, Coleraine.

25 MARCH 2019 MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA NIFRS received a call at approximately 22:00hrs tonight to a fire in a building in the Riverside Regional Centre, Coleraine. Seven fire appliances and approximately 35 firefighters from Coleraine, Portstewart, Portrush and Londonderry attended the scene the scene.PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

25 MARCH 2019 MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA NIFRS received a call at approximately 22:00hrs tonight to a fire in a building in the Riverside Regional Centre, Coleraine. Seven fire appliances and approximately 35 firefighters from Coleraine, Portstewart, Portrush and Londonderry attended the scene the scene.PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

A total of seven fire appliances and approximately 35 firefighters from Coleraine, Portstewart, Portrush and Londonderry attended the scene the scene.

Councillor Michelle Knight McQuillan, who was at the scene on Sunday evening, said: “The premises at riverside retail park were ablaze in a matter of minutes.

“When I arrived there was smoke visible from one of the roofs but as the fire crews arrived the smoke intensified greatly and crackling of the fire could be heard from inside at quite a distance away.

“The fire crews had tremendous difficulty accessing the building due to the security shutters and had to use cutting equipment to cut through the metal shutters, whilst some crew cut through the tiled roof with what appeared to be heavy axes.

“Whilst watching the scene unfold I could not help but think that probably dozens of people would be affected by this fire.

“All four premises are likely to have been damaged either by fire or smoke.

“This is the third time this area has suffered from fire damage and yet again jobs and business will be severely affected, especially at a time when businesses are preparing for the busy Easter period ahead.”

MLA Maurice Bradley said: “Thankfully no-one was hurt in the fire, but there has been a drastic loss of business to the restaurants and fast food outlets in the area, not to mention the destruction of Indus Valley, I believe, the third time a fire has occurred here.

“Members of the NIFRS were quickly on the scene, and with the first of gas tanks at the rear of premises catching fire members of the PSNI formed a cordon around the area, diverting traffic away from the danger scene.

“It was tragic to see a business go up in smoke, but the rapid response from the emergency services saw they fire quickly brought under control and normality restore around midnight.”