Serious fire breaks out in Ballymena town centre

Fire on Broughshane Street, Ballymena
Fire on Broughshane Street, Ballymena

A major fire has broken out in a furniture shop in Ballymena town centre.

Up to five shops are ablaze on Broughshane Street and the roof of one premises has collapsed, the NI Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed.

Eight fire appliances and two specialist aerial platforms are currently tackling the blaze, which broke out around 5pm.

The affected premises include Woodgreen Furniture, Open and Direct Insurance, Rainey and Gregg estate agent, McAtamney Solicitors and Double Happiness chinese.

One man who was at the scene of the fire said: “It looks like the whole row of shops could be affected. There is a huge plume of smoke over the town centre and the street is cordoned off. It’s heart-breaking to see businesses that have contributed so much to Ballymena over so many years, destroyed in a matter of minutes.”