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Worker killed as 'furnace-like' fire hits coffin factory

A MAN has died after a major fire broke out at one of Ireland's biggest coffin makers.

The victim, named locally as 30-year-old Lithuanian national Ramunas Sinica, was a worker at Finlay Coffin and Casket plant in Ardee, Co Louth.


It is believed he was overcome by fumes or smoke when the blaze broke out in a spraying room at the factory.

Flames engulfed the plant, and 11 units of the fire brigade were called to fight the blaze last night.

Most staff had left for the day, but there were immediate fears for Mr Sinica who could not be found.

Firefighters had contained the blaze but had not been able to access the building until about 10pm, when they began a sweep of the premises.

At about 11pm they discovered the body.

Local councillor Finnian McCoy, who worked making coffins at the site some years ago, said the scene was "like a furnace" and that the heat was "unbearable".

He said the flames were up to 30ft high and described plumes of smoke billowing from the site.

"I'd like to sympathise with all those affected," he said.


Residents living close to the factory had to leave their homes for fear of explosions due to paints and chemicals contained within the workshops.

Elderly patients at the Moorehall Lodge nursing home close by were also evacuated due to the risk of smoke inhalation.

The site stretches across three acres and includes a funeral home and manufacturing sheds.