A warehouse used to store vehicles impounded by gardai went up in flames last night.
Emergency services were called to the scene at Haggardstown, just south of Dundalk, Co Louth, shortly after 7pm.
Gardai said they were investigating the incident but the cause of the fire was unknown.
The warehouse was a privately-owned recovery and breakdown service centre.
Fire at Haggardstown Dundalk pic.twitter.com/YKZqfFCtpv— Keith Dunne (@dunne109) March 29, 2017
LOUTH: Large fire in Haggardstown, Dundalk near the Dublin Rd (R139) is affecting visibility in the area. Take extreme care. theAA.ie— AA Roadwatch (@aaroadwatch) March 29, 2017
Its clientele includes An Garda Siochana, motorway maintenance and insurance companies.
It is understood there were up to 100 cars and other vehicles inside the warehouse at the time of the fire.
AA Roadwatch last night warned road users that the smoke from the blaze was so thick it was affecting visibility in the area.
Motorists driving near the scene were advised to proceed with "extreme care".
A Garda spokesman confirmed the fire broke out at 7.20pm.
A number of fire service units were called to the scene.
Motorists and members of the community were also warned to keep their windows closed due to the toxic nature of the fumes.
No injuries were immediately reported.
Flames from the fire were so large that they could be seen from a considerable distance way.