A fire which gutted a number of premises in Ballymena on Tuesday is “a devastating blow” to the local traders affected, the Mayor has said.
The blaze at Broughshane Street in the town began at about 5pm on Tuesday.
The flames spread to several units, causing extensive damage.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, said her thoughts were with the traders whose premises were destroyed.
Speaking at the scene this morning, she said: “I am horrified and deeply saddened by the scale of devastation caused by Tuesday’s fire.
“These businesses are well established in Ballymena and I know the traders involved personally, as do many throughout the town.
“To see their livelihoods reduced to ruins is a devastating blow which will be felt throughout Ballymena and as a former retailer myself, I understand how devastating this will be.
“I know this community will rally round them in the days ahead as they work to pick up the pieces following this shocking incident.”
The section of Broughshane Street where the fire took place is expected to remain in place throughout Wednesday. There is access to the remainder of Upper Broughshane Street and the Fairhill multi-storey car park.
Cllr Wales added: “I want to thank the Fire Service, whose quick actions and bravery prevented the fire spreading further.
“One firefighter reportedly sustained minor injuries and I wish them a full and speedy recovery.”