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Monday 5 December 2016

'We'll weather the storm' - vows family devastated by factory fire

Published 25/10/2016 | 02:30

The fire services at the scene. Photos: Kyran O’Brien
The fire services at the scene. Photos: Kyran O’Brien
The blaze at the Tippo factory in Nenagh, Co Tipperary Photos: Kyran O’Brien
Scene of the fire at Tippo in Nenagh, Co Tipperary (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the fire at Tippo in Nenagh, Tipperary (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the fire at Tippo in Nenagh, Co Tipperary (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the fire at Tippo in Nenagh, Co Tipperary (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the fire at Tippo in Nenagh, Co Tipperary (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)

The owners of a Tipperary furniture company which was completely destroyed by a fire have vowed to get their business back up and running as soon as possible.

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Paddy Martin, director of Tippo International, located outside Nenagh, said that he and his family were devastated by what happened, but insisted they would "weather the storm".

The fire broke out shortly before 7pm on Sunday. Fire services were immediately alerted by the family, who live next door.

Nobody was injured during the incident and the fire units at the scene managed to bring the blaze under control.

"We are devastated. It's a business we brought up from scratch in 1991," Mr Martin said. "We managed to come through the recession - we managed to keep afloat when others couldn't.

"This won't take us down - we're down, but not out. Our intention is to get back on the road as soon as possible."

Many people in Nenagh have rallied behind Paddy and his wife Mary, who is also a director of the firm. Huge crowds gathered to help firefighters.

Mr Martin said he was extremely grateful for the support of local friends and family.

"Our neighbours have been amazing. We have so much gratitude for how they have reacted," he told the Irish Independent. "We are going through a tough time with Brexit looming, so we could really have done without this, but we will weather the storm."

The company employs 81 people, many of whom are locals.

Family friend Joe Ryan said the company would be a "big loss" to the community.

"They're a great family. It will be a big loss to the area as there's a lot of young people working there," he said. "It's just sad, it always happens to the good ones. They've put a lot of work into it over the years."

Local farmer Seamus Hayes noticed the fire when he was out milking his cows.

"It spread in five minutes. It was like something you would see on television," he said.

The main activity of the business is the manufacture of PVC foil kitchen cabinet and wardrobe doors, kitchen worktops and bedrooms.

Tipperary's chief fire officer, Dave Carroll, said it was not going to be easy to discover the cause of the blaze due to the significant damage.

Irish Independent

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