Fire Service protect homes from bonfire

The Fire Service was called to Banbridge last Thursday night (July 11) to protect homes from a nearby bonfire.

A number of houses at Huntly Road in the town required external cooling due to heat coming from a nearby bonfire.

Group Commander Kevin O’Neill said the Fire Service had two options when a bonfire threatened nearby buildings.

“This is something we have had to do on occasion,” he explained.

“Our advice is that for every metre of height the bonfire reaches, it should have a clearance of five metres. This means that a ten metre high bonfire should have a clear areas of up to fifty metres.

“I would be disappointed if we didn’t know how high the bonfires were but it only falls into our jurisdiction once it has been lit. We can give recommendations but Fire Service only have powers from the moment the bonfire is lit.

“We have two options,” he continued. “Either we put water on the bonfire and suppress the fire or protect surrounding buildings so that the immediate heat doesn’t set fire to the eaves of the houses.”

Throughout Northern Ireland, the Fire Service dealt with 184 calls. Forty-two incidents were bonfire-related but only 15 required Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service assistance, including the call out to Banbridge.