A heavily pregnant woman and her family have been left homeless after a blaze broke out in their apartment block this morning.
A father-of-one, whose wife is expecting their second child in six weeks, was first on the scene of the fire at the Abbey Glen apartments in south Dublin after the fire alarm started ringing.
“I could see a car in the far corner of the car park on fire,” he told independent.ie.
“I ran back upstairs and started banging on my neighbours’ doors to wake people up.
“We’re on the second floor so our apartment is smoke-damaged and the floor is charred, but the apartments below us are completely wrecked.
“There is a grid outside the block that looks down into the car park and the flames were just billowing out of it this morning.”
Five units of Dublin Fire Brigade fought the blaze at the Abbey Glen apartments on Pottery Road, Kill O Grange after a number of cars caught fire in the underground car park.
The first call to emergency services was made at 5.42am when one car was reported to be on fire, but it is understood the fire spread in the confined car park and a number of cars were destroyed.
The father-of-one, whose car was destroyed in the fire, said they are currently in a friend’s house.
“We were allowed back into the apartment to collect clothes so we picked up a few but they’re destroyed in smoke. All my son has with him are just the pyjamas he has on him,” he continued.
“It is surreal today, it doesn’t feel like reality.”
Residents of the apartment block are unsure as to whether they are allowed back into the building, following reports of structural damage generated by the heat of the fire.
Fire crews at the scene used breathing apparatus while tackling the flames and toxic smoke.
They also used specialist techniques deployed specifically for underground fires, which can be very dangerous to emergency crews.
The fire brigade requested crews from ESB Networks and Bord Gais to attend to ensure utility supplies were safe, and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council were also requested to sent staff from its dangerous buildings section to assess the apartments.