A fire at a clothes recycling plant in Newry, County Armagh has been described by the chief fire officer in Northern Ireland as “one of the biggest incidents for years.”

At the height of the fire, 23 fire engines and 115 fire service staff from across the region were involved in tackling the serious and rapidly developing blaze.

Reinforcements, including crews with specialist high reach aerial appliances, water tankers and high volume pumping units were called in as the flames started to spread to a nearby lorry car park.

The warehouse at the plant was saved but a clothing storage area has been destroyed in the fire. The cause of the fire is now under investigation.

Sinn Féin councillor for Newry Packie McDonald said it was thankful that no one was injured but the damage was a “serious blow to the local economy” as over 100 people are employed at the recycling plant.