Verdemont complex owners facing €50k fire safety bill shock

by Sylvia Pownall
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Homeowners in a west Dublin apartment complex have been left reeling after it emerged that remedial fire safety works could cost up to €50,000 per unit.

Defects were discovered throughout Verdemont, Blanchardstown, following a fire in May 2017 which forced more than 100 residents to move out of their homes.

The 274 homeowners in the apartment and duplex complex were initially told that the estimated cost for remedial work would be around €50,000 each.

And they were left frustrated at the weekend after a meeting of owners and residents was told that this cost had been revised – but they still don’t know how much they will have to pay to make their homes safe.

Cllr Paul Donnelly (SF) called for support from the Government and said the homeowners should not have to foot the bill to address fire deficiency issues.

He told Dublin Gazette: “I am absolutely shocked at the massive cost of the remedial works. The residents of Verdemont should be supported in the same way as Priory Hall and the pyrite remediation scheme.

“The reason it was built like that in the first place is because the Government changed the law and brought in self-certification.

“Every building built since 2000 needs to be checked. There are a lot of people I would guess who have no idea they are living in a death trap.

“The whole concept of apartment living and fire safety is that fires are self-contained, whereas in Verdemont 12 apartments were completely destroyed from one fire. It is horrific stuff – scary.”

In 2002 a fire at an apartment in Verdemont claimed the lives of young couple Mick Farrell and Louise Wall. Investigations after the 2017 blaze uncovered major problems with firestopping and compartmentalisation.

The complex was completed in 2001 by McInerney Construction, which went out of business in 2011. Homeowners are now footing a bill of up to €200,000 a year for fire wardens to patrol the complex 24/7.

An emergency general meeting for members of the management company is expected to be held in May where definitive costings will be provided.

Last week, Dublin Fire Brigade revealed that remedial works have begun to correct fire safety deficiencies in 24 apartment blocks around the city.

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