POLICE in Omagh are investigating the cause of a major fire which caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a business premises in the High Street area.
The blaze, which broke out at approximately 2pm, lasted for over four hours before it was eventually brought under control.
It is believed to have started in the vicinity of an old swimming pool in the former Broderick’s Health Studio before rapidly spreading to other buildings.
A Chinese restaurant, ‘The Dragon Castle,’ has been forced to close down due to extensive smoke and water damage caused to kitchen facilities at the back.
Five fire appliances from Omagh, Castlederg, Irvinestown and Fintona were summoned to the scene following the alarm.
In one nearby pet shop at George’s Street, ‘J D Pets,’ several exotic birds, whose enclosure was engulfed in smoke, died.
Omagh man dies in crash
A 51-YEAR-OLD Omagh man died in a road traffic accident on the main Ballygawley to Dungannon road.
The married man and father of four is believed to have been killed instantly in the fatal car crash near the Ballygawley roundabout.
The car, apparently travelling towards Ballygawley, went off the road, crossed the grass verge and some bushes, went through a wire fence and dropped over 20 feet into a river.
The deceased was an employee of the Nestlé factory and a spokesman described him as a very popular member of the workforce.
Pranks and fires
POLICE in Gortin are investigating a malicious fire call which brought Omagh Fire Brigade to the village.
The call, believed to be a prank, was made from a kiosk. The caller reported that “John Quinn’s public-house was ablaze,” but when firemen arrived they found there was no fire and no public-house owned by a John Quinn.
Meanwhile, equipped with two fire extinguishers, Sergt William Lispett, of the RUC at Mountfield, saved a two-storey house in the village from being gutted.
Fire broke out in the vacant house when the chimney in the next-door public house owned by Bridget Gallagher went on fire. She contacted the police and Sergt Lipsett rushed to the scene with fire extinguishers.
Omagh Fire Brigade also extinguished a blaze at Newtownstewart when clothes drying in front of the fire in the home of Brendan McDevitt went up in flames and spread to furniture in the room.
Omagh to get advance factory
OMAGH is to have an advance factory erected by the Government. This good news was given by the Minister of Commerce, B D Faulkner, at Stormont when replying to a debate on the Queen’s Speech in the course of which R H O’Connor (West Tyrone) urged that the minister should give special consideration to Omagh as the county town.
The minister said that there were plans for special attention in various areas, and among the towns where the new advance factories would be erected was Omagh.
SEVERAL cases under the Lighting Restrictions regulations imposed due to the war were heard at Omagh Petty Sessions, when a number of well-known local residents were fined. The court was crowded during the hearing of the cases, which created much interest.
The first case taken was that against James Mossey, Kevlin Road. Const Woods said he saw a light coming out of a window in the defendant’s dwelling house.
When he knocked at the door defendant refused to open it. Mossey said the reason he did not open the door was that every night there was a crowd of young fellows running about knocking at doors.
He was fined 5s and costs.
Alice McGinn was also fined 5s and costs. Const Mullan said there was a bright light coming out of a gateway at defendant’s house. When he went down the gateway he heard someone saying, “For God’s sake put out that light!”
He previously warned the defendant on a number of occasions.
In a case against Rev Charles Cullimore, the Rectory, Church Street, Omagh, Const Murdock said that while on duty in the Kevlin Road he saw a light coming from a window in the defendant’s house.
The light was coming from two glass sides in a door. Witness knocked at the door which was opened by a little girl, and when he asked to see the occupier, the girl turned off the light and came back and closed the door.
NL Holland, defence solicitor, said defendant thought that the frosted glass would prevent the light shining out in the street.
Tragic burning fatality
HOW a little lad named Peter Hughes, aged about three years, met his death in a painful manner was related at an inquest in Altamuskin.
Deceased’s mother identified the body, and said that she went out to milk some cows on the previous evening.
She left the deceased in the house, and as she was shutting the byre door she heard him shouting ‘Oh, oh!.’
She ran towards the kitchen and as she opened the door she saw deceased standing against a box with his clothes in flames.
She caught the child by the arm and brought him out to the street, where she called on a neighbouring woman named Agnew, who came with a quilt and wrapped it around the boy.
The mother sent for the doctor, but the child died about two hours afterwards, before the arrival of the doctor.
Collision with cart
A COLLISION, which might have had serious consequences, occurred near the Omagh railway station when a motor bicycle and a cart collided.
It appears that a horse and cart, the property of J T Beacom, merchant, was engaged drawing iron from the railway station, when the motor bicycle approached.
The horse shied and came in contact with a sidecar which was attached to the bicycle and smashed it.
Luckily neither the driver of the horse or the cyclist was injured.