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The scene at Limavady Fire Station in Limavady on Wednesday where there was a fire. Photo: Jim O'Brien (2508sj10)

The scene at Limavady Fire Station in Limavady on Wednesday where there was a fire. Photo: Jim O'Brien (2508sj10)

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A blaze spotted by a retained firefighter at Limavady Fire Station on Wednesday is still under investigation.

A blaze spotted by a retained firefighter at Limavady Fire Station on Wednesday is still under investigation.

The fireman was responding to day duty work when he heard the smoke alarm going off and phoned emergency services around 8.50am, District Commander, Barry McDowell told the ‘Journal’ at the scene. 

“He opened the small front door to make sure the complete premises wasn’t smoke-logged or involved in fire.

“He quickly contacted the fire service using the 999 system and crews responded as they normally do for the Limavady community and they did so very rapidly,” said Mr. McDowell, adding: “Because of the fire detection systems and the fire doors in the station, it was kept to a minimum.” 

Mark Carton, whose business is next door to the fire station, watched the drama unfold. 

“I had heard the alarm but I never thought much of it. I never thought there was a fire in the fire station,” he said, adding when he went out and asked what was happening he was told ‘she’s on fire sir!’.

“All the men started appearing, quickly. It was quite a commotion,” said Mr. Carton. 

Another man who was at work said he happened to look out the door and see “smoke everywhere”.

“It was dramatic enough,” he said. 

When asked whether he thought the fire at the station was embarrassing District Commander McDowell said: “This looks like at an accidental fire. It can happen to anybody, should it be an electrical installation or anything that caused that.”

The story has been the source of much comment in social media.

Within an hour the contained fire within the drying room/store room area had been brought under control. 

Damage was caused to the lecture room in the Catherine Street station.

The two fire appliances were not damaged, according to the Fire Service, and station remained operational after the fire.

“We will provide a fire and rescue service for Limavady,” assured District Commander McDowell at the scene, as media and onloookers gathered. 

Four fire appliances attended the incident, including crews from Dungiven and Limavady. 

The Fire Service said the incident shows fire “can happen to anyone at anytime in any building”. 

“Fire doesn’t discriminate and it shows the importance of thinking fire safety first, working smoke alarms and the swift actions of our local fire crews in protecting our whole community from the dangers of fire,” said a spokesperson.