Published Saturday, 12 July 2014
Firefighters dampen down houses in the vicinity of a bonfire in Belfast (© Presseye)
Four fire engines attended the scene of the large bonfire at Hopewell Avenue, off the Cliftonville Road, to deal with the blaze.
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service says four main jets, two foam jets and two hosereel jets were deployed to protect the roofs of three properties, which were being affected by the blaze.
"Four persons including an elderly gentleman were also led to safety by NIFRS personnel," a spokesperson said.
In another incident, fire crews had to use main jets in Banbridge to cool nearby sheds due to the radiated heat from a large bonfire.
The Fire Service says a total of 160 calls were received during the Eleventh night - with 58 incidents linked to bonfires. Twenty-eight required active intervention by crews.
The Fire Service says it marks a slight decrease on last year's numbers.
"Thankfully there were no reports of any crews being attacked during the evening," the spokesperson added.
Bonfires are lit on the eve of the Twelfth of July, ahead of the main day of Orange parades to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Boyne.
Huge constructions were erected across the region, mostly using wooden pallets. Although some projects receive council support, others are privately funded.
On the Shankill estate in west Belfast, a bonfire more than 80 feet tall observed the guidelines of the council's bonfire management scheme.
A community representative told UTV that Friday's event was important for "cohesion" within the community.
"It is an opportunity we use to bring the entire community together, they work together, they play together," Ian McLaughlin, project manager with the Lower Shankill Community Association, said.
"Working with the statutory community and the Housing Executive have offered to board up a number of properties which may, according to wind direction, suffer some slight damage through the heat dissipation. So we welcome that support, but we also are very clear with our community partners that we are trying our best to absolutely minimize any disruption to the community.
"We have a huge army of volunteers who help to keep the area clean, they help to minimise anti-social behaviour, and also we have a huge number of people who have volunteered their time tonight to steward the event when the bonfire is lit for the creation of a safe zone."
© UTV News