160 evacuated in Ballymena hotel fire

Published Thursday, 08 November 2012
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Staff at the Leighinmohr House Hotel have been praised after 160 guests were quickly and safely evacuated during a fire on Wednesday evening.

160 evacuated in Ballymena hotel fire
The fire is believed to have started accidentally. (© Pacemaker)

The blaze took hold in a store room at the Ballymena premises shortly after 6.30pm, filling the ground floor with smoke.

Residents and guests, some of whom were attending a function, had already been evacuated by the time fire crews from the surrounding area arrived at the scene.

Up to 30 firefighters spent four hours extinguishing the blaze. It caused severe damage to the store room but there were no reports of injuries.

Station Commander Martin McDonald praised the actions of staff at the hotel, who followed their fire safety plan to get people out of danger.

He said: "There was only a small number of staff and they managed to get a large number of people out of the building quickly and safely.

"It highlights the critical need for a fire safety plan."

Mr McDonald added that it is believed the fire was started accidentally.

A statement from the PSNI said: "The NIFRS and Police attended a fire at a hotel in the Leighinmohr Avenue area of Ballymena shortly before 6.40pm yesterday evening, Wednesday, 7 November.

"Police enquiries are continuing."

© UTV News
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