IHBC’s ‘Heritage from the doorstep’… as a Belfast reprise: Fire chief recalls ‘iconic image’ of clock burning one year on from Primark fire

The Fire Service’s Officer in Charge on the day of Belfast’s ‘Primark Fire’ has recalled to The Belfast Telegraph the battle to save the historic Bank Buildings from ruin, with area Commander Aidan Jennings speaking ahead of the first anniversary.

The Belfast Telegraph writes:

The August 28 fire at Primark’s Castle Street building resulted in a four-day operation to extinguish the fire, with over 300 firefighters involved. Nobody was injured during the fire and work is currently ongoing to rebuild the historic Bank Buildings. A number of businesses in the vicinity of the store were forced to close their doors as a result of the devastating fire and part of Belfast city centre was sealed off for months.  The exact cause of the fire has yet to be revealed with a Health and Safety Executive investigation still ongoing…

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said it wanted to thank firefighters, support staff, partner agencies and the community for their response and support during the fire. Mr Jennings was the Officer in Charge on the day of the fire and said the effort to save the building would remain with him forever….

At one point over 100 firefighters and 14 fire appliances, including six specialist appliances, tackled the blaze. Mr Jennings praised those who worked behind the scenes while the fire raged. ‘The size, scope and intensity of this fire provided many challenges and I can vividly recall that iconic image of the clock in Bank Buildings burning and the impact that had on our personnel working so hard to save the building….’

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