Shop owner saves sleeping man as blaze engulfs flat
A MAN was lucky to escape with his life after the shop below his flat and a number of commercial premises were destroyed in a massive blaze.
The man, who is believed to be Polish, was sleeping in an apartment above a shop in the Dargle Centre on Castle Street in Bray, Co Wicklow, when the fire broke out around 4.40pm.
Peadar Smyth, who owns the Four Star Pizza in the centre, said the owner of the cycling shop raced upstairs to alert the man who was asleep and unaware of the fire.
"He got out just in time," Mr Smyth told the Irish Independent
Mr Smyth said his store narrowly escaped being destroyed.
"We're right next door. If the wind blew our way, we'd be wiped out," he said.
The fire was still burning at 9pm last night with more than a hundred locals watching the drama unfold.
"The fire still keeps raging and raging," he said. "There's black smoke billowing out. It looks like they'll be here for most of the night."
Mr Smyth said about half a dozen businesses in the complex were destroyed in the blaze, including a Polish supermarket, the cycling shop, a hairdressers and a health food shop.
A spokesman for the Wicklow Fire Service said four units attended the blaze including a water tanker.
"The cause and the scale of the fire is to be assessed," he said.
No one was hurt in the incident, with fire-fighters working for hours to get the blaze under control.
In September 2007, firefighters Brian Murray (46) and Mark O'Shaughnessy (26) died during a sudden escalation of a fire at Adelaide Villas in Bray. An inquest heard expert evidence which attributed the fireball to flammable liquids in containers that were dumped illegally.
Last night's blaze was the second one to in the town yesterday. A gorse fire caused disrupted DART services between Bray and Greystones between approximately 5pm and 8pm as well as delays to Irish Rail services.
An Irish Rail spokeswoman said service resumed as normal after the blaze was brought under control.