independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Village cut off as fire crews battle inferno

A village in the capital was virtually cut off by traffic diversions as firemen battled a large blaze at a Chinese restaurant.

Wongs on Sandford Road in Ranelagh was gutted after the blaze ripped through the top floor of the building which houses the restaurant.

Nearby premises were evacuated and up to 14 fire brigade units battled to control the inferno, which appeared to have started in an office above the restaurant at about 3.45pm.

Commuters faced long delays as a stop/go system remained in place on Sandford Road today.

The owner of the well-known restaurant pledged to staff they will not lose their jobs.

Alan Mann told the Irish Independent that staff would be relocated to his other restaurants in Clontarf and Castleknock.

He was at the scene to survey the damage and explained that staff were preparing for 6pm opening when the fire broke out.

Mr Mann said an accountancy company and a solicitors firm were located where the fire broke out.

One restaurant employee, who did not want to be named, told how the building was engulfed in smoke within minutes.

"We were vacuuming and preparing to open when there was a huge amount of smoke that came in, we all just ran out," he said.

There were no customers in the restaurant and there were no reported casualties. Traffic in Ranelagh came to a standstill as fire-fighters battled to bring the blaze under control.

Cause

At one point officers feared that the roof of the building would completely collapse and gardai put traffic diversions in place.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined but a garda spokesman said it was not being treated as suspicious at this stage.

The restaurant is next door to McSorley's pub and the Wild Goose Grill restaurant. Both closed as the fire raged.

A manager from the popular watering hole was unable to say when the pub would be reopened.

Irish Independent

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