CROLLA UN BONFIRE A BALLYCRAIGY
A huge bonfire, being prepared for the Eleventh Night and layered with tyres, has collapsed in the Ballycraigy estate in Antrim.
The towering structure’s collapse under its own weight was caught on camera in a series of images.
The pictures also show how close the bonfire had been built to local homes and the dangers that could have been posed if it had collapsed in their direction – or while burning.
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has already urged those building and attending bonfires to think about their safety and that of others.
Last year, there was a significant drop in the number of bonfire-related incidents – down from 49 call-outs between 6pm on 11 July and 8am on 12 July in 2011, to 29 during the same period in 2012.
But this year, there have already been a number of causes for concern in the run-up to the Eleventh.
In Articlave near Coleraine, NIE has said it will have to cut power to homes for up to 12 hours in a bid to protect electricity lines from a bonfire which has been built too close to the overhead cables.
And in the Ballyduff estate in Newtownabbey, a huge bonfire had to be moved recently after residents raised concerns about its size and proximity to houses in the area.
A number of other bonfires continue to use tyres – despite it being illegal to burn them due to the toxic fumes emitted – and blue pallets which should also not be destroyed.
As well as making appeals over safety, the NIFRS is reminding people that, if firefighters show up at a bonfire, it is only because someone in the local community has been concerned enough to call 999.
“If we are called out to attend a bonfire-related incident, I am asking the community for their support to ensure that firefighters are able to carry out their job without fear of attack or harassment,” Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dale Ashford said.
“Thankfully, attacks on our firefighters are declining year on year – but one attack on our firefighters is still one too many and firefighters have a job to do to protect the local community.”