Controversy over siting of Carrick bonfire

A controversial bonfire site at Love Lane near a petrol station at Prince Andrew Way in Carrick.
A controversial bonfire site at Love Lane near a petrol station at Prince Andrew Way in Carrick.

Controversy has arisen over the siting of an Eleventh Night bonfire in Carrickfergus.

The bonfire is located opposite a filling station at Prince Andrew Way.

Pic by Press Eye.

Pic by Press Eye.

Mid and East Antrim Borough has been asked to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has issued the following advice for the building of bonfires.

NIFRS is urging people to think safety first when building or attending bonfires.

Last year, fire fighters attended 33 bonfire related incidents over the Eleventh Night night, which was nine more than in 2015.

Pic by Press Eye.

Pic by Press Eye.

The NIFRS Regional Control Centre dealt with 43 bonfire related 999 calls, 12 more than in 2015.

Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Prevention and Protection, said: “Since 2013, there has been a downward trend in the number of bonfire related incidents attended but we did experience a small increase last year.

“In 2013 and 2014, we attended over 50 bonfire related incidents each July 11, and in 2015, this figure dropped significantly to 24 incidents attended. Last year, we saw a slight increase from 24 (2015) to 33 (2016).

“We are hoping this year to see a further reduction in the number of bonfire related incidents we attend, but this can only be achieved if people think safety first at bonfires.

Pic by Press Eye.

Pic by Press Eye.

“We will continue to work with local communities, community leaders, local councils and land owners to put safety first at bonfires.

“Our main priority is to keep people safe from the dangers of fire and so we appeal directly to the bonfire builders and community representatives to listen to our advice.

“Bonfires should be kept at a manageable size and sited in a clear, open space at a safe distance from buildings and overhead cables.

“A bonfire should be a minimum distance of five times its height from property. It should not contain any potentially hazardous materials or tyres and never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin as these can produce explosive vapours. The burning of tyres releases toxic fumes, which are harmful to the environment and also cause hazardous health conditions for those attending or living close to the bonfire.

“We are also asking the community for their support to ensure that if fire fighters are called out to attend a bonfire it is because someone in the local community is concerned about their safety and has contacted us for help. Fire fighters are not out to spoil anyone’s fun – their job is to protect life and property from fire.

“I’m asking the local community for their support to ensure that fire fighters are able to carry out their job without fear of attack or harassment.

“If your bonfire does get out of control, call 999 immediately and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.”