A SDLP MLA for Foyle has reacted to a major fire at a city centre restaurant.
The blaze took hold this afternoon at the Mandarin Palace on Derry’s quayside. The fire service has deemed the blaze as a ‘major incident’ with up to a dozen appliances attending the scene. Residents in adjoining flats have been evacuated.
The area surrounding the fire has been cordoned off and police are advising motorists to avoid the area as serious traffic disruption has been caused around the city.
The fire has caused smoke to billow around the city and across the Foyle and can be seen from high ground across the city. There are as yet no indications that any injuries have been sustained.
Pat Ramsey MLA, said: “First of all I would like to state that I sincerely hope no one is injured or harmed as a result of this major incident.
“As MLA for Foyle I commend the emergency services, particularly the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the PSNI for their fast and efficient response to the blaze.
First of all I would like to state that I sincerely hope no one is injured or harmed as a result of this major incident-Pat Ramsey MLA
“It is fortunate that this hasn’t occurred this Friday when the public services are on strike. Had that been the case, an incident like this could have far greater and perhaps even longer lasting consequences.
“Of course my condolences go to the employees of and proprietor of the restaurant Stan Lee, the businessman is a household name in Derry due to his contributions to the city over many years. It will be a devastating day for him and our thoughts are with him and allthose employed by teh businesses closed as a result of the fire. I hope they can return to trading normally as soon as possible.
“My office has already been in liason with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to ensure that plans are in place to house anyone who has been left homeless temporarily or otherwise as a result.
“If anyone is in housing stress as a result of this incident I invite them to contact my office ASAP on 71 361 444 so that we might assist them in this difficult time.”