Northern Ireland

Eleventh night: Fire Service deal with 184 calls

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has said it dealt with one call every 77 seconds for a period on Thursday evening.

From 18:00 BST until 01:00 BST on Friday, it received 184 calls.

Forty-two incidents were bonfire-related but only 15 required NIFRS assistance.

Bonfires are lit in Protestant areas on 11 July ahead of the Twelfth of July, a day when thousands of Orangemen commemorate the Battle of the Boyne.

In Craigavon, crews attending a bonfire had to withdraw after they came under attack from youths throwing stones.

At several call-outs, heat from bonfires put nearby property at risk.

A bonfire at Cluan Place, east Belfast, caused some minor external fire damage and internal smoke logging to a nearby property.

In County Down, a number of houses at Huntly Road, Banbridge, and Ballyminetragh Gardens, Bangor, required external cooling due to heat coming from nearby bonfires.

Brian McClintock from the NIFRS described what happened in Craigavon as an "isolated incident".

"A small number of youths attacked a crew who were dealing with a bonfire in the Brownlow area," he said.

"They withdrew from the scene but there was no danger to anyone, and thankfully none of the crew were injured.

"Obviously any attacks on our crews we deplore but I'm glad to say that in recent years the trend is very much downwards, that's largely due to a lot good work that our staff are doing, particularly with young people."

Crews also attended 25 minor gorse and grass fires.

"Calls were actually up to bonfires on last year, but most of the calls were very small in nature and very few of them required more than one pumping appliance to attend, and very few were prolonged in nature, so overall although busy, none of them turned into major incidents," added Mr McClintock.

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