Arson at former Derry school: Fire-fighters worked in ‘dangerous conditions’ with asbestos and missing manhole covers

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said they had to operate in ‘dangerous conditions’ as they dealt with a blaze at a former Derry school this week.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 8:49 am

The latest in a series of arson attacks at the former Thornhill College site saw dozens of fire fighters tackled to the scene along the Culmore Road.

The complex of old buildings and the surrounding area - which it is hoped will be transformed into a retirement village in future - have been a hotbed of anti-social behaviour over recent times.

In a statement accompanying photos of the operation on its Facebook Page the Western Command of the NI Fire & Rescue Service said: “Fire fighters attended a large fire in the former Thornhill College on the Culmore Road in Londonderry on Monday evening.

Two aerial applainces - one of which had to come from Belfast - were deployed to the scene.
Two aerial applainces - one of which had to come from Belfast - were deployed to the scene.

“A total of 40 personnel 10 appliances including two aerial appliances, one aerial being mobilised from Belfast, were deployed to tackle the fire in the four story building.

“Personnel worked in dangerous conditions for four hours to bring the fire under control, missing manholes and asbestos being some of the hazards encountered.”

The fire brigade also warned that having to tackle such incidents was putting people at risk. “Deliberate fires like these put a massive drain on our resources and endanger firefighter’s lives.”

Earlier yesterday it was confirmed a firefighter sustained a minor injury while on the operation.

The Fire & Rescue service tackling the blaze at the former Derry school site on Monday.

Local Councillors have condemned the incident.

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‘Deliberate’ fire at derelict school in Derry