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Ahes to Ashes as coffin shop goes up in smoke (VIDEO)

A large fire has broken out at a coffin makers in Northern Ireland, with reports the building may have been struck by lightning.

Around 80 firefighters and 10 fire engines are at the scene at O’Doherty’s in Strabane, County Tyrone. 

West Tyrone assembly member Daniel McCrossan said he heard an ‘explosion’, adding that there was a ‘very loud lightning strike in the wider area’.

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle Martina Anderson shared a video of the blaze on Twitter with the caption ‘Struck by lightning!’

There were thunderstorms in the area when the fire erupted, but the cause is yet to be confirmed.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for the area earlier today – mentioning a risk of lightning strikes.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has been fighting the flames since being called shortly after 4pm.

No injuries have been reported and workers at nearby businesses have been evacuated.

Speaking to BBC News NI, pub owner Mr McCrossan described it as ‘a significant blaze’.

He said: ‘Luckily no one is hurt. There is a house next door, thankfully they weren’t home and they weren’t hurt either.

Strabane Fire
Thunderstorms hit the area before the flames erupted (Picture: Damien Corry)

The operation on Railway Street is expected to continue into Monday.

Derry City & Strabane District Council have also cautioned that storms have brought on heavy flooding.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has warned locals to avoid the area, while residents have been advised to keep doors and windows shut.

A statement said: ‘Police are advising the public that due to a fire on Railway Street in Strabane, they should avoid the area to allow emergency services to deal with the blaze.

‘Our officers are at the scene, please follow their directions.’


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