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Saturday 21 October 2017

‘Grudge’ probe over apartments inferno

Ken Foy

A MAN who was arrested on suspicion of setting a Dublin apartment complex on fire may have been involved in a dispute with someone living there, gardai believe.

Children had to be dropped from balconies as panic broke out at Thornfield Square, in Clondalkin, in the early hours of Tuesday, July 9.

There were no serious injuries but some people were treated in hospital for smoke inhalation

The suspect – a 27-year-old local man who is known to gardai – was arrested as part of an investigation yesterday morning and was still being held in Clondalkin Garda Station last night.

A source said: “Gardai believe that this man started that fire and that he had a grudge against someone living in the apartment block. This case is now being treated as arson.”

It is understood that detectives received “additional new information” in recent days about the blaze which led to yesterday's arrest in the Clondalkin area.

It has still not been disclosed what accelerant was used to start the fire.

Gardai previously stated that they were not treating the fire as arson and were investigating if the fire had been started accidentally by children.

Parents and children were lucky to escape with their lives when a blaze engulfed the stairwell and corridors of Thornfield Square apartments on Tuesday morning of last week.

People from 35 apartments were unable to return to their homes after the fire and hotel accommodation was arranged.

Buses brought groups of residents to the Ibis Hotel as forensic experts examined the charred hallways and stairs of Block B.

On Sunday night some residents were transferred to Bewley's Hotel in Clondalkin after also spending some nights at a hotel in Leopardstown.

Jim O'Connor, of O'Connor Property Management, said the residents would be in temporary accommodation for “the foreseeable future” but added special food prices had been agreed with the Bewley's Hotel.

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