PROBE LAUNCHED INTO BELFAST CITY CENTRE SHOP BLAZE

Fire crews at the scene of shop blaze in Rosemary Street, Belfast

Fire crews at the scene of shop blaze in Rosemary Street, Belfast

INVESTIGATORS are sifting through the debris to pinpoint if a fire at a Belfast City Centre store was accidental or deliberate.

Around 40 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze at B&M Bargains shop in Rosemary Street.

A dozen or more full and part time staff will be affected by the store being gutted.

The alarm was raised after flames were by a passing police patrol around 5.10 am on Friday morning

Firefighters, from the on the ground and on aerial platforms, managed to contain the blaze to the first floor of the three-storey building.

They were also able to prevent it spreading to neighbouring shops and buildings.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said its crews working in “challenging conditions” to bring it under control.

Said a spokesperson: “At the height of the incident 10 fire appliances, two aerial platforms, a command support unit and 40 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze.

“The cordon has now been reviewed and members of the public and business owners can now access the arcade.

“At this stage it’s too early to determine the cause of the fire and an investigation will begin in due course.”

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