Monday 24 June 2019

Thatched cottage in huge blaze

Five fire tenders fought blaze at Balrothery thatched cottage

Firefighters tackle the blaze at the thatched cottage in Balrothery. Pictures courtesy of Gary Tolan
Firefighters tackle the blaze at the thatched cottage in Balrothery. Pictures courtesy of Gary Tolan

John Manning

Five fire tenders battled against a huge blaze at a thatched cottage in Balrothery on Sunday night which has been described by local fire officers as one of the most difficult fires they have had to handle, this year.

At 6.18pm on Sunday evening, the alarm was raised at Balbriggan Fire Station which was tasked to respond to a blaze at a thatched cottage in Balrothery.

A fire tender from Balbriggan was joined by three other pumps from Skerries, Swords and Phibsboro fire stations and a foam tender from Tara Street.

Command and control of the difficult operation was handled by the 'District Officer Foxtrot' in Finglas.

When fire crews arrived on the scene, the couple who live in the property had vacated the house safely and were unharmed.

The fire continued to rage and fire officers began the difficult work of not only tackling what was a 'deep seated' fire in the thatch but also stripping down the roof in an effort to slow the fire's progress.

According to Balbriggan station officer, Dermot Murray, this was 'one of the most difficult incidents we have had to tackle this year because of the nature of the fire'.

He explained that thatch fires are 'very, very difficult to extinguish' and fire officers had to work 'extremely hard in what was a very labour intensive effort' to bring the fire under control.

Extensive damage was sustained to the roof of the cottage while the interior of the cottage suffered water damage and some minor fire damage.

The fire made its way from the back of the property to the front, and fire officers were forced to ask the owner for permission to bring in extra machinery to life the front of the roof off the burning home.

The cottage stands alone as so the blaze did not pose a risk to any other property in the area.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway but early indications are that the blaze began around the chimney area, within the thatched roof.

It was a difficult night for all the fire officers involved at the scene and the fire has left this beautiful local thatched cottage, deeply scarred but luckily, there was no casualties in the dramatic blaze.

Fingal Independent