Friday 24 March 2017

Cause of Dublin hotel fire probed

Fire investigators were tonight probing the cause of a blaze in a popular Dublin hotel.

The fire broke out in a third-floor bedroom at Tara Towers, on the Merrion Road, near Ballsbridge at lunchtime.

More than 40 firefighters in 12 appliances went to the scene as flames and plumes of smoke billowed from a window overlooking Dublin Bay.

District fire officer Jim Sargent said crews initially fought the blaze from the hallway using the hotel's own installation units before tackling it from a platform outside.

"When we arrived we were still unsure whether people were missing or not so we extinguished the fire immediately and we carried out a full search of the building," he said.

A total of 12 firemen in breathing apparatus searched the building amid fears a guest was trapped on the second floor.

The fire officer confirmed there has been no injuries and commended hotel staff for their promptness in evacuating the building before crews arrived.

He continued: "I think 90 of the 111 rooms were occupied, but during the daytime people go out shopping and do things so it's difficult to get a full count, so we searched the whole building."

Mr Sargent said gardai were investigating the cause of the blaze, which was confined to one bedroom on the third floor.

It is still not known if the hotel, which suffered serious smoke damage throughout its third and fourth floors, will reopen this evening.

While hotel staff began the clean-up operation, ESB engineers attended the scene to make the electrics safe.

Carmel Shiel from Donegal was among the guests evacuated from the hotel.

She said she was having lunch on the ground floor when the fire alarm went off, which her group initially ignored. The staff then asked them to leave the building.

"We were surprised when we saw the smoke," said Ms Shiel, who is staying in the hotel for a reunion with friends.

"It seemed all very organised. Organised panic. They just asked everybody to evacuate and asked them to go down that end," she added, pointing to the rear of the building.

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