Watery Lane fire sees 16 rescued

by Alen McMahon

Over a dozen people had to be rescued from a burning building on Tuesday after an early morning blaze gutted an apartment block in Clondalkin.
The fire broke out at the Thornfield Square apartments on Watery Lane. Dublin Fire Brigade has confirmed that 16 people were all rescued, including a pregnant woman who had gone into labour.
Firefighters responding from Dolphins Barn managed to get most of the people from the building safely, but had to help two children from a window and another child from the roof of the apartments.
While most of the damage occurred in a hallway, according to Dublin Fire Brigade, many apartments were themselves smoke damaged.
While local gardai have confirmed that an investigation is under way, they say that it is too early to tell if the fire was started maliciously.
“It is too early for us to say whether foul play was involved. At the moment we are investigating the circumstances surrounding it, we certainly haven’t said it is suspicious or anything like that yet.”
However, a concerned Trevor Gilligan (FF) has fears that the blaze may have been started intentionally.
“I had a quick look there today and some residents said that the place looked like a warzone. There was one resident who was living right beside the stairs where the fire was who was very upset.
“It’s a devastating blow for the people in the apartments in terms of what happened and I hope that they all get back on their feet fairly sharpish and get the apartments sorted out as soon as possible.
“The insurance will have to be sorted out in terms of what was in the apartments, but it looks like it will take a while to repair.”
Cllr Gilligan urged anyone who may have seen something in the Watery Lane area at the time to make contact with the Garda or local groups.
“I’m sure someone would have seen something around that time in that area.
“Where those apartments are, they’re behind the council offices. If you wanted to go from the Ninth Lock Road to the village, you can cut through those apartments.
“I would be reluctant to believe that nobody has seen anything. People may have seen something and not thought that it was anything untoward. But we know now that it may have been.”
Cllr Gino Kenny (PBP) echoed his council colleagues remarks, saying the fire could have been “a calamity”. Kenny added that in light of recent high profile cases of apartment buildings with deficient fire safety, Thornfield showed just how important the measures are.
“Luckily enough the fire doors held up, and that shows how important the fire sealing in an apartment building actually is. The fire doors saved people’s lives, which is what they are there for.
“Fires like that can rip through apartment buildings and it really shows the importance of having proper fire sealing and fire doors.”
Both councillors urged anyone with information to make contact with Clondalkin Garda station on 01 666 7640.

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