'It’s a tragedy for the family and workers' - Fears for jobs after massive blaze at well-known furniture factory
A fire at a well-known furniture factory has been described as a "big loss to the area".
The Tippo International premises, in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, caught fire at around 6.50pm on Sunday evening.
Fire tenders from Nenagh, Thurles and Roscrea were called in to battle the blaze.
They remained at the scene overnight with eleven units remaining at the scene at 7am this morning.
The blaze has since been brought under control but is reported to be still burning.
There are no reports of injuries but the building and its contents have been devastated.
There is now concern over the future of almost 70 jobs.
Sinn Féin councillor Seamus Morris said the owners of the factory are known as being "hard-working" and have created a lot of employment in the area.
“The owners are a very hard-working family and have created a lot of employment in the area. They’ve been a very steady company. My heart goes out to the Martin family but also to the workers.
“The voluntary fire brigade were very fast at the scene and their actions saved the house beside the company. They have it under control now thankfully.
“It’s a tragedy for the family and the workers, especially with it coming up to Christmas.”
Fine Gael councillor Ger Darcy added: “It’s a disaster really.
"They are big employers in the area. I mean, they have just come through the recession, and now this.
“Hopefully they will get over it, but it is an enormous blow for the family.”
Family friend Joe Ryan said: "It always happens to the good ones.
"They're a great family. It's a big loss to the area, there's a lot of young people working there.
"It's just sad. They've put a lot of work into it over the years. Could have been a lot worse if someone got caught inside it. Thanks be to God they are okay, that's the main thing."
According to the latest annual accounts for Tippo International, 69 people are employed in management, administration and production.
The main activity of the business is the manufacture of pvc foil kitchen cabinet and wardrobe doors, kitchen worktops and bedrooms.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
The main arterial route between Nenagh and Thurles is closed at one particular section.
Gardai have advised motorists to avoid the area.