St Brigid’s spire catches fire

The spire of St Brigid's Church, Carnhill, which caught fire on Tuesday morning.
The spire of St Brigid's Church, Carnhill, which caught fire on Tuesday morning.

Early morning Massgoers at St Brigid’s Church, Carnhill, had a shock on Tuesday morning when the spire of the church caught fire.

Workmen were carrying out work to repair the spire when the fire broke out shortly before 9am on Tuesday.

The spire was damaged by gale force winds which battered Derry last month and the workmen were attempting to repair it when it caught fire.

The blaze was brought under control quickly before it had the chance to spread to the adjoining church. The spire itself is not connected to the main church building and is a free-standing structure in the church grounds.

A passing motorist, who spotted the flames, said; “I was driving past and I could see black smoke in the air and when I got closer to the fire I could see it was the spire of the Church. I couldn’t believe it.

“A church spire is the last thing you expect to catch fire. Some workmen were repairing it and it seemed like one of the tanks of gas they were using went on fire.

“I could see the flames and the smoke but thankfully it was brought under control quite quickly before it had the chance to spread and cause more damage. It looked like a crane had been moving the spire when it caught fire.

“It’s been an unlucky few weeks for the fire after the top of it blew off in the strong winds in May,” he said.