06 March 2008

Major Fire in Waterford

A major fire, which has meanwhile been brought under control, devastated a commercial building in the city centre of Waterford tonight.

About fifty fire fighters from Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny were called to the blaze, which broke out at around 6 p.m. this evening in an interior design business on Thomas Street.
The premises of the company, which specialises - among other things - in the design and installation of kitchens (and stores therefore a significant amount of wood) have been seriously damaged.
But fortunately no one was injured by the fire.

Thick black smoke was hanging over the city and caused poor visibility along the Quay.

The Fire Service says it will keep an eye on the building overnight, to make sure it does not re-ignite.

Gardaí have set up traffic diversions and Thomas Street is blocked from the Quay up to Barker Street. So is the adjacent middle part of Barker Street, and motorists are asked to avoid the area.

The Emerald Islander

For an up-date see the Comment section below



Up-date on the major fire in Waterford

At around 9 p.m. on Thursday some 50 fire-fighters finally brought the blaze under control at the "You Décor" premises in Thomas Street, next door to Henry Downes’, the city's oldest pub. A total of five fire brigade units were at the scene.

Thick, black smoke and soaring flames up to around 60 ft in height bellowed from the building. For hours the fire-fighters battled the blaze. Surrounding streets and the Quay area were engulfed by plumes of smoke, causing long traffic tailbacks. Even a boat on the river Suir had to turn back.

It’s not known what caused the inferno that devastated the DIY store. Large amounts of wood and flammable liquids, such as paint and solvents, stored on the site certainly had an impact in accelerating the fire.

Though the fire was fully extinguished at 10 a.m. on Friday morning, brigade personnel, who remained at the scene overnight, were maintaining a presence in the vicinity, dampening down ‘hot spots’.

Though no injuries were reported, the "You Décor" building was gutted, with a number of adjoining business and residential buildings also badly affected by smoke damage, including flats at St. James’s Lane. Dozens of people in neighbouring houses and apartments were evacuated.

Downes’ pub, whose whisky vats are kept in a cellar, was not too badly damaged, but will be closed for some days to allow for a clean-up.

Meanwhile, Gardaí are investigating how a Welsh tour bus, parked outside the nearby Dooleys Hotel, was also burnt out. Whether it was as a result of incidental sparks or arson is as yet unclear. The bus was being used by rugby supporters, mostly from Swansea and Cardiff, who were here for today’s rugby match in Dublin.

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