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Praise for 'hero' garda as search for arsonist at petrol station continues

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Gardaí are now "confident" of tracking down an arsonist who targeted a petrol station in a bizarre attack.

Cork gardaí and members of the Blarney Policing Forum admitted the 7am attack at Tria Express on Sunday could have had catastrophic consequences but for the intervention of a hero garda.

A garda helped avert disaster at a petrol station yesterday after extinguishing a fire from an attempted arson attack.

The garda, who was on routine patrol, spotted the fire near the petrol pump and fearlessly ran over to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher he grabbed from the boot of his squad car.

The blaze was started just metres from where around 30,000 litres of diesel is stored in underground tanks at the busy filling station.

Simmering

Incredibly, while the fire had been simmering for around 15 minutes underneath the petrol pump, it failed to ignite either the pump or the highly flammable fuel stored underneath.

CCTV footage showed a person - believed to be aged in their late teens or early 20s - approaching the petrol station at 7am on Sunday.

The person used what appears to have been a packet of fire lighters to start a small blaze directly underneath one of the pumps.

The cyclist, wearing white overalls and a high-visibility jacket, then calmly cycled off in the direction of Tower, Co Cork.

Blarney Policing Forum chairman Damien Boylan said it was a miracle no one was injured.

"God only knows what the consequences might have been had this garda not been passing. He really was a hero," he said.

Sergeant Mark Dempsey said the incident was exceptionally dangerous.

"We are appealing to anyone who was in that area of Blarney from 6am on Sunday morning and who may have seen a person cycling a bike," he said.

"This person was wearing a yellow high-visibility jacket and white clothing.

"We would urge anyone with information to contact Gurranabraher garda station."

Anyone with information is asked to get in contact with Gurranabraher garda station at (021) 4946200 or call the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Irish Independent