Bray People

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Residents' fears after homeless shelter fire


Residents of a homeless shelter are nervous in the house after an electrical fire on Saturday evening.

Two units of Bray Fire Service attended the fire on Brighton Terrace at the weekend.

This was the second fire there in a year, with the building hit by lightning last summer.

There was a television on fire in one of the rooms.

Two men were taken to hospital from the scene and treated for smoke inhalation.

The resident of the room tried to fight the fire with an extinguisher, to no avail.

Another resident of the hostel pulled him away and they both suffered the effects of smoke inhalation.

A number of doors of rooms were broken through as fire fighters ensured nobody remained inside.

They both spent the night at St Vincent's Hospital.

They reported feeling dizzy and had inflammation of the throat.

Gardai and paramedics attended the scene, as well as the ESB and An Bord Gais. Fire fighters were at the scene for over 90 minutes before declaring the premises safe.

A resident said that on the afternoon of the fire, a kettle in one of the rooms kept turning itself on. He added that an alarm also kept going off in the house that day.

'Nobody in the house feels safe,' he said. 'Everyone is rattled.' There are 14 beds in the Brighton Terrace facility for men.

The gentleman in whose room the fire occurred had not been able to go back in yet and was accommodated elsewhere in the house.

He lost personal belongings due to smoke and water damage.

One of the residents commended the fire service on their quick and professional service on Saturday.

He added that those living there want the planned phasing out of the facility to happen sooner rather than later.

The hostel will is to be closed by the end of the year, Wicklow County Council having decided to move away from the use of large facilities for emergency accommodation. They plan to use the 'Housing First' model which focuses on the provision of long term, permanent accommodation.

The council plans to acquire or use some of their own properties, with five smaller units spread throughout the county.