A fire station in Co Down has been destroyed in an overnight fire.

The blaze at the station in Rathfriland was discovered at 4.15am.

25 firefighters tackled the fire but were unable to save the building.

Two fire engines inside the station were also destroyed in the blaze.

Local fire chief Don McKay said he believed it was the first time a fire station had burned down.

Mr McKay said: 'It just goes to show that fire can attack anybody.

'We have measures in place to make sure that we have adequate fire cover in the area.

'So the local community need not worry - a fire appliance will arrive if they need one.'

Police confirmed an investigation is now under way into the cause of the fire.

It is understood there is no indication of arson, though fire chiefs stressed the inquiry was at an early stage.