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Massive blaze at textiles recycling warehouse

A huge fire at a recycling plant in Northern Ireland is reported to be under control.

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said that, at the height of the emergency, 115 firefighters and 23 engines were tackling the blaze at a textiles warehouse at Cloghoge, outside Newry.

The alarm was raised late on Thursday night and the service said it was confronted with a “serious and rapidly developing fire”.

Speaking to BBC radio, area commander John Allen said it had been difficult to get water to put out the fire.

“This happened in a remote part of the countryside, there are no rivers nearby which meant water had to be pumped over a mile and a half,” he said.

Allen said a warehouse which stored building materials was saved although the clothing area was lost.

Chris Kerr, Interim Chief Fire Officer, said: “This is one of the biggest incidents we have attended in many years and I am confident that the courage and professionalism of our fire crews prevented the incident from escalating further. Our crews have worked in difficult and punishing conditions to prevent the fire spreading and while there is significant damage to property we have managed to save at least 50% of this major commercial enterprise.

“I would commend all those who were involved in this major incident including those members of the local community who have assisted us.”

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