Fundraiser for Belfast Cathedral Buildings arson victims surpasses £13,000

The fire broke out in Belfast at around 6am. Credit: NIFRS Facebook

Thousands of pounds have been raised in a fundraiser set up for people and businesses impacted by an arson attack in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter within just 24 hours.

By 9am on Tuesday, the total had surpassed £13,000.

The organiser of the fundraiser said she put it together after requests for help after people lost their work, technology and equipment in the blaze.

"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."

More than 50 personnel were involved in fighting the fire at Old Cathedral Building on Donegall Street from the early hours of Monday.

A Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) spokesperson said they were alerted to the blaze at 5.37am.

It sent eight fire appliances from Belfast, a Command Support Unit from Lisburn, two aerial appliances, 52 firefighters and five officers to the scene in the early hours of Monday.

The building hosts a number of small creative businesses.

A man has since been charged with arson following the blaze.

Police said an 18-year-old man would appear in court in Belfast on Tuesday.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "The man was charged with arson with intent to endanger life, burglary and possession of a Class B controlled drug.

"As is usual procedure, all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service."

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