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Thursday 18 January 2018

Bord na Mona and farmer left counting cost after fires

Luke Byrne and Pat Flynn

TWO major fires broke out over the weekend causing significant damage – however nobody was injured in either blaze.

The first broke out at the Bord na Mona briquette factory in Littleton, Thurles, Co Tipperary, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It took firefighters several hours to tackle the fire, but it was eventually extinguished with no casualties.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the blaze but gardai have said that they are not treating the incident as suspicious.

Elsewhere, a farmer is counting the cost of a fire which raged for several hours and required fire crews from two stations to bring under control.

Thousands of euro worth of damage was caused in the blaze, which was reported at around 7.30pm on Saturday at a farmyard near Fountain, on the outskirts of Ennis, Co Clare.

The fire broke out in a large shed close to the Ennis to Lahinch road.

Three units of the fire brigade from Ennis responded to the scene and found the shed "well alight" on arrival.

Two water tankers from Ennis and Shannon were requested to assist to ensure fire crews had sufficient water and water pressure to battle the blaze.

The fire was confined to a single building on the farm, which contained around 50 large round bales of hay and a baler machine worth €20,000.

Fire crews had difficulty gaining access to tackle the blaze due to the low roof on the shed. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to save the hay or machinery.

Personnel used cutting equipment to remove galvanised panels from the side of the building so that they could fight the fire from different angles.

The farmer brought in a JCB to try and remove as much burning hay as possible and allow fire crews access to the rest of the building.

Efforts by the fire crews to deal with the fire were hampered by the strong winds.

However, after more than five hours at the scene, fire personnel brought the blaze under control.

The building and its contents were destroyed.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Until a forensic examination of the scene has been completed, the fire is being treated as suspicious.

Irish Independent

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