Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 09:41 UK

Former school is damaged in fire

Fire crews

A former school on the outskirts of Belfast has been badly damaged in an overnight fire.

The blaze at Cedar Lodge, close to Greencastle near the north of the city, was reported just before 2300 BST on Friday.

It took 50 firefighters four hours to bring it under control, a spokesman for the Fire and Rescue Service said.

There are no indications yet as to how the fire started and investigations are continuing.

Alan Walmsley, from the fire service, said the main difficulty they faced was getting water.

"We needed quite a lot of manpower to get water from the hydrant," he said.

"We also had the difficulty of a possible fire spread to residential properties at the rear of the school.

"A lot of the buildings were temporary Portacabin-type buildings, which obviously have no real substantial fire prevention, so there was quite a lot of damage done to the unoccupied school."

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