I visited Halebank this morning and I am shocked at the destruction caused by the huge fire that started there last night. I have spoken with the Chief Fire Officer on site and passed on my gratitude to the Fire Service for their actions. They worked throughout the night to protect my constituents’ homes near the fire. I know that a number of families were evacuated and I hope they will soon be able to return home, when it is safe to do so.
My sympathy goes out to the businesses that have seen their premises and equipment destroyed by this major fire and I sincerely hope that they can recover from this terrible incident. I am aware that one person was injured and I hope the individual is recovering well.
I wish to thank all the Emergency Services and volunteers like the Red Cross for their actions to protect Halebank and its residents. I pay tribute to the residents of Halebank who once again showed what a strong community they are. I have spoken to a number of them today and I am aware that they pulled together; offering up space in their homes to the evacuated and offering their assistance to their community. I called into the Lunch Box Café in Hale Road after lunch and the staff in there were only just managing to eat some breakfast, due to offering free tea and toast to affected Halebank residents. Halebank is a shining example of a community that pulls together.