The Lissue House headquarters of the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) have been gutted in a fire.
It is understood staff are being relocated to Greenmount College, Antrim.
Ian Stevenson, Chief Executive of the LMC said that they were saddened by the damage caused to the office premises at Lissue House and are grateful that no one was injured.
He added: “We have a business continuity plan in place and will continue with our work as far as possible. We thank the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for their quick response and professionalism in dealing with the fire.”
Three appliances from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were initially tasked to deal with the fire at the premises on the Ballinderry Road.
A Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Currently there are eight Fire Appliances, as well as a Command Support Unit vehicle from Lisburn Fire Station, a high volume pumping appliance from Whitla Fire Station and a Water Tanker from Warrenpoint Fire Station deployed to the scene.
“The VEMA Fire Appliance from Springfield Fire Station as well as the Fire Emergency Support Service vehicle are also providing assistance.
“Firefighters continue to deal with a well-developed fire on two floors of a large detached building in the area. No one was inside the premises during the fire.
“Motorists are advised to avoid the area and seek alternative main routes, as Firefighters remain at the scene.
“There are no further details at this stage.”
Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen said that while she is concerned about the fire at the headquarters of the LMC at Lissue House, she is relieved to know that all staff are safe and that no one was hurt.
She added: “I am being kept up-to-date regularly with developments. I understand that LMC is currently implementing its own business continuity plans. My officials are working with the commission to offer temporary accommodation and what assistance they can.”
Lissue House is a former children’s hospital.