FIRE chiefs rushed appliances to the Ready Eggs site in Lisnaskea yesterday (Wednesday) morning, where a large fire had broken out.

Despite the best efforts of the fire crews and the many appliances sent to the site, a ferocious blaze destroyed empy henhouses on the site.

Witnesses for miles around reported seeing a vast plume of billowing dark smoke in the mid-morning, with little remaining of the gutted buildings by Wednesday afternoon apart from smoking rubble and twisted, blackened frames.

Ten fire appliances were needed to quell a major fire at Ready Eggs, Lisnaskea.

No one was injured in the blaze yesterday, Wednesday, which gutted the inside of a large derelict agricultural shed on the site. Work resumed again in the factory that evening.

The company released a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying all staff were quickly evacuated.

The Ready Eggs statement said: “Today there was a fire in our empty henhouses on our Lisnaskea site. All staff were evacuated swiftly to safety.

“Due to the efforts of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS), the main production facility was not affected, and production has now recommenced.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the NIFRS and the British Red Cross. We would also like to thank two local businesses – the Cherrytree Bakery for providing lunch for 100 people on short notice, and to Courtneys Mace, who delivered drinks to us, and for all the messages of support we have received from the local community. We really appreciate it.”

Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA Rosemary Barton has said she hopes the fire will not have a negative impact on the business.

She said: “I am pleased to learn that everyone at Ready Eggs in Lisnaskea is safe following today’s on-site fire.”

Mrs. Barton added: “I trust there will not be a significant negative impact on the business, and wish them well, going forward.”

Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew tweeted about the event yesterday at 12pm while it was still ongoing.

She tweeted: “A number of

@NIFRSOFFICIAL appliances are attending a fire at a factory outside #Lisnaskea. No injuries reported so far. I hope that remains the case and that those trying to extinguish the fire are safe and successful.”

Yesterday morning the alarm was raised about a fire in Lisnaskea to the NIFRS at 10:58am. At 11am, two appliances were sent to the Ready Eggs factory, from Enniskillen Fire Station and Lisnaskea Fire Station.

At 1pm, an update from the NIFRS read: “Firefighters are currently in attendance at a fire at a large derelict shed at an industrial food factory on Crom Road, Lisnaskea.

“Firefighters were called to the incident at 10.58am this morning. There are currently 10 fire appliances in attendance, including a high-volume pumping appliance, two aerial appliances and a water tanker.”

At the time of going to print, the service added: “The situation is ongoing but we have scaled down operations.”

The fire gutted sheds on the premises at the Crom Road, Lisnaskea.

Production of eggs for wholesale markets has been taking place on the site since 1975 when Charles Crawford began trading as Erne Eggs Ltd.

The incident was declared over shortly after 7:30pm on Wednesday. A spokesperson fron the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said: 

“Firefighters were called to a fire at a large derelict shed at an industrial food factory on Crom Road, Lisnaskea today at 10.58am. At the height of the incident 10 Fire Appliances including a High Volume Pumping Appliance, 2 Aerial Appliances & a Water Tanker were in attendance.

“Firefighters used three jets to extinguish the fire. The incident was dealt with by 19.35pm. The cause of the fire is accidental ignition.”