Fire site trespassers ‘risk serious injury’

The scene of Sunday night's blaze at the former Clooney British Army Base at Limavady Road.
The scene of Sunday night's blaze at the former Clooney British Army Base at Limavady Road.

Trespassers on the proposed site for the new Foyle College risk “serious injury”, the chair of the school’s board of governors has said.

Robin Young was speaking after a blaze broke out at the site - formerly Clooney British Army base - on Sunday night. Around 20 firefighters and four fire engines were tasked to deal with the fire, which destroyed derelict portable buildings. It was the second blaze in a week at the site, which will also accommodate a new Ebrington Primary School. The Fire and Rescue Service said it believed the fire was started deliberately.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, Robin Young, Chair of the Foyle College Board of Governors, said the fire will not hamper plans to proceed with work on the site once the plans for the new school are finalised.

However, he warned that entering the site could pose a serious risk for trespassers.

“There are quite a few holes dotted around the site and if any youths entered after dark there would be risk of serious injury.”

Mr Young, who lives nearby, said the blaze was “more concerning” for local residents as the heavy smoke surrounded their homes.

Local residents were urged to close their windows and be mindful of embers coming from the blaze.

A police investigation is underway into the fire, which was described by local DUP councillor April Garfield Kidd as “a tornado of flames”.

“The flames could be seen from all over the city,” she said

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey has condemned the arson attack as “senseless”.

Mr Ramsey said: “This wanton arson has to be condemned by all right-minded people.

“Foyle College has spent millions securing this site and it is of huge importance for this city and the education provision for our young people. It is close to a number of residential areas as well as the main arterial route through the Limavady Road, where the fire has caused serious disruption .”