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Large tyre depot fire put out

19 August 09 07:54 GMT

A large fire at a tyre depot in Londonderry has been extinguished, more than two days after it began.

At one stage, more than 10,000 tyres were burning at the depot in the Pennyburn Industrial Estate.

The blaze started on Monday just after midnight and was finally put out about 0700 BST on Wednesday.

People living nearby were advised to keep their windows closed because of toxic fumes given off by the burning tyres. This alert has now ended.

Residents in the Pennyburn, Buncrana Road, Hazelbank, Northland and Ballymagroarty areas were affected.

Station Commander Kevin Lynch of the Fire Service said it had been a long and difficult task to put out the blaze.

"Tyres are very hard to put out, especially the way they were packed with up to 100 tyres in each bale," he said.

"We had to basically pull all the tyres out with a mechanical digger and subsequently demolish the building - that's how we managed to get in to get the fire extinguished.

"Because of the fierceness of the fire, the brickwork had become unstable which resulted in huge health and safety implications for our crews.

"It was a lot of effort."

At the height of the blaze it took 41 firefighters to bring it under control.

Its cause is still under investigation.

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