Monday 19 February 2018

'We heard a big bang and kids screaming' - BBQ blamed for major apartment fire

Dublin Fire Brigade tend to a fire at the Verdemont apartments
Dublin Fire Brigade tend to a fire at the Verdemont apartments

Ian Begley

A barbeque that fell over is believed by residents to have caused an apartment fire that left people running for their lives.

Dublin Fire Brigade were called to the scene at the Verdemont Apartment of the Snugborough Road in Blanchardstown in West Dublin at approximately 5.10pm on Wedensday.

Locals living within the complex have claimed that the cause of the fire was due to the flames of a resident’s barbeque falling into his home on the fourth floor.

The blaze quickly spread to the adjoining building causing detrimental damage to the inside.

Reports have also suggested that the apartments on the bottom floor were damaged by water as the fire services extinguished the flames.

Brycen Cluster and his roommate Taylor Thompson from Utah said that their home was one of those destroyed by the blaze.

“We were living in the flat next door to the apartment that initially caught fire and heard a big bang and kids screaming outside.

“We then walked to our window and saw the flames. We grabbed our shoes and managed to leave, but sadly didn’t manage to take any of our possessions with us.”

Dublin Fire Brigade tend to a fire at the Verdemont apartments in Blanchardstown
Dublin Fire Brigade tend to a fire at the Verdemont apartments in Blanchardstown

The two 19 year olds who have been living in Ireland for two years added that a lot of sentimental items have been destroyed.

“We don’t know the extent of the damage yet, but just looking at our apartment from the outside it’s clear that not much will be saved.

“We had a lot of family photos and personal things that are now gone.

“It’s still setting in to be honest, but I suppose it’s out of our control. At this stage and there’s nothing you can do.

“We have to just move on,” he said.

Christina Farrell, a resident who lived near the affected apartment, said she helped alert her neighbours about the fire.

“I was getting ready for the gym and when I came outside I saw a man on a balcony trying to put the fire out with a glass of water.

“I then rang the fire brigade and they asked me what the situation was and how bad it was. They said just alert everyone and get them out

“I went inside [the burning apartment] and started knocking on doors telling people to evacuate. By the time we got to the top floor there was so much smoke that it was hard to see so we had to get out of there.

Dublin Fire Brigade Tweeted photos showing flames and plumes of black smoke coming from the property.

DFB captioned the image: “We’re attending a large domestic fire in #Verdemont off the Snugborough Road.

“6 pumps, Turntable Ladder and Command Support. #fire

“Firefighters are attacking the #fire from a 100ft Turntable Ladder. We advise residents in the #Verdemont area to keep windows closed.

“There is a water tanker to supplement supplies, a command support vehicle, plus ambulances and the AP car at the #Verdemont fire #fireEMS”

Motorists have been advised that diversions are in place.

A garda spokesman said in a statement: “Gardaí and other emergency services are currently at the scene of a major fire at the Verdemont apartment block, off the Snugborough Rd in Blanchardstown Dublin 15.

“A number of significant traffic diversions are in place.”

Residents have been offered alternative accommodation nearby tonight.

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