Popular Belfast restaurant destroyed in fire

 

A leading central Belfast restaurant was extensively damaged in an early morning fire.

More than 60 firefighter and 13 appliances battled to prevent the blaze spreading from the Red Panda Chinese restaurant in Great Victoria Street to surrounding commercial and business property.

The fire, which was contained in the first floor restaurant of the four storey building, was spotted just before 7.30am.

Fire and Rescue area commander, Chris Kerr, said it had been a very complex fire fighting operation.

"We had 26 breathing apparatus wearers at the height of this blaze working on every floor level simultaneously. The fire was confined to the first floor bar and restaurant area."