The Ulster Unionist Party’s Alderman Jim Rodgers has praised the bravery of the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service personnel in tackling the blaze which broke out at the Primark store in Belfast.
Alderman Rodgers said:
“I spent several hours at the scene of the fire at the Primark Store in Belfast City centre on Tuesday afternoon and like many onlookers could scarcely believe what I was seeing.
“The fire had taken hold very quickly and was clearly a major one with the building extensively damaged and a number of nearby shops, offices, cafes and restaurants were forced to close due to the fire and smoke.
“Once again the men and women of the fire service are due high praise for their professionalism and bravery in tackling the situation and ensuring the safety of both the general public and property.
“The scenes were reminiscent of the Troubles when many of our buildings were destroyed by bombs planted by the Provisional IRA.
“I understand that the refurbishment of the listed building was close to completion and I spoke to a number of staff who quite understandably expressed fears for their jobs.
“This is one of the best preserved Victorian buildings in the City Centre, and should the interior damage be as bad as many fear, I will be urging that all possible steps are taken to retain the historic facade in any future redevelopment that might be required.”