Explosions heard 10km away from 'massive' blaze
Published 01/09/2014 | 02:30
Explosions were heard up to 10km away and a welding machine blew 200m across a main road when a building belonging to a contracting services company caught fire.
The three-acre site outside the village of Ballyclerihan near Clonmel, Co Tipperary was described as "a war zone" by gardai. Machinery and equipment were destroyed in the fire and it's estimated the damage could surpass €1m.
Gardai were patrolling in Clonmel shortly after 11pm on Saturday when they spotted Jim Ryan's Contracting Services ablaze.
Six fire engines from Clonmel, Cashel and Cahir fought the fire until 6.30am yesterday before getting it under control.
One garda sergeant said: "It was an absolutely massive fire. The flames were rising up into the heavens."
He said gas cylinders in fork lifts on the premises could have caused the explosions.
The fire is not being treated as suspicious.
Business owner Jim Ryan said he didn't know how the fire happened, but he was relieved that nobody was injured in the incident.
He said it was the first fire he had ever experienced in the company's 34 years. "There's an awful lot of stuff in the stores. I had a lot of tyres, ploughing machines, and lorries. They're all gone. But thank God there was nobody hurt."