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Blaze battle Large fire breaks out at coffin makers amid reports it was struck by lightning

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said efforts to quell the fire are likely to continue into tomorrow.


A large fire has broken out at a coffin makers amid reports it was struck by lightning.

The blaze broke out at around 4pm this afternoon at O'Doherty and Sons Coffin and Casket manufacturers in Railway Street in Strabane, Co Tyrone.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said efforts to quell the fire are likely to continue into tomorrow.

Around 80 firefighters have been dispatched to tackle the fire, with the public urged to avoid the area.

"NIFRS are continuing to deal with what was a substantial fire at a commercial premises, Railway Street Strabane," the Fire Service said in a statement.

"There are currently 10 pumping appliances and four specialist vehicles in attendance with approximately 80 firefighters.

"Operations are expected to continue into tomorrow.

"The public are asked to avoid the area due to high level of activity and also keep windows and doors closed."

It said the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Michaela Boyle tweeted: "Massive fire in Strabane town centre twelve fire appliances in attendance, please avoid the Railway road area.

"Residents across this area of the town keep doors and windows closed. Please comply with the fire service and stay away from the area."

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle Martina Anderson shared a video of the incident on Twitter with the caption: "Struck by lightning!"

No injuries have been reported.

Earlier on Sunday, the UK Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for the area, which mentioned a risk of lightning strikes.

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It said: "There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds"

Derry City and Strabane District Council's DUP mayor, Graham Warke, said the storms had brought heavy flooding in the area.

"We're dealing with a number of floods here at the moment in the city. I know there's a major fire. It's mad here at the minute. We're having severe heavy rain, a lot of local flooding."

Charles O'Doherty and Sons is an independent family business that has been operating in the area for more than a century after being established in 1908.

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