Losses are 'irreplaceable' - Fundraiser opened for artists affected by city centre arson attack

An online fundraising campaign has been launched to support artists who have lost their equipment in a fire in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.

The organiser of the fundraiser said she put the fund together after requests for help after people lost their work, technology and equipment in the blaze, which is being treated as an arson attack.

An 18 year old man has been arrested in connection with the fire at the Cathedral Buildings on Church Street.

"We obviously never expect to recuperate the majority of our losses as the fire has destroyed everything, but any donations will help us to try get back a little bit of what we have lost in terms of income, computers, and other smaller objects," said Jennifer Mehigan on the Go Fund Me page.

"Most of the losses are intangible and irreplaceable, artwork, sketchbooks, and research etc.

"Please only help if you can, even a share makes such a difference, and we know times are tough for everyone right now.

The release of the fundraiser comes as the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said it had now dealt with the fire, which they first received reports of just after 5:30am this morning.

Our Firefighters worked tirelessly throughout the duration of the incident to ensure that the fire was brought under control and prevented the spread to nearby premises, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Group Commander Paul Rogers said.

"There were over 60 personnel involved throughout the incident. We worked alongside Belfast City Council and other partner agencies during the course of the incident.

"At the height of the incident there were 8 Fire Appliances, 2 Aerial Appliances, 1 Command Support Unit, 1 Specialist Rescue Team and 5 Officers were in attendance.

"Our drone was also tasked for an aerial assessment of the incident.

We would like to thank the public for their patience whilst we dealt with the incident.”

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