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Owners of Louth company Christoff hope to resume manufacturing within weeks of devastating fire

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An aerial view of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

An aerial view of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Part of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Part of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Part of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Part of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Part of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Part of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

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An aerial view of the fire damage at Christoff Custom Built Rooms, Bellurgan. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

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The owners of the bespoke kitchen and furniture company Christoff – Custom Built Rooms, whose premises were gutted by fire on Saturday, are hoping to resume manufacturing in the coming weeks.

The fire at the family-run business at Bellurgan was one of the biggest industrial fires in the county in recent years.

Fire crews from Dundalk, Carlingford, Ardee and Monaghan tackled the blaze which was discovered around 6am on Saturday morning.

Traffic diversions on the main Dundalk to Carlingford Road were in place for several hours and residents in a neighbouring house were evacuated for a period as dense black smoke billowed from the burning building. The huge plume of smoke could be seen from the far side of Dundalk Bay.

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"When the first crew got to the fire it was already quite large and spreading through through the premises,” said Robert Page, senior assistant chief fire officer. “The building was severely damaged from early on.”

As the building was too dangerous for the fire crews to enter their main concern was to prevent it from spreading to other buildings and vehicles on the site.

There were 36 fire fighters tackling the fire at the height of the blaze and an ambulance was also in attendance.

"The main difficulty we had was the water supply,” said Mr Page.  Ariel platforms were used to douse the flames with water.

The premises, which contained the company’s main showroom as well as the materials used for manufacturing high-end kitchens and furniture,  rapidly turned into an inferno due to the combustible nature of the timber, paints and varnishes.

By late afternoon, after the fire crews had succeeded in getting the blaze under control, the remains of the building were levelled to the ground by a JCB.

 The results of Garda forensic investigations carried out  on Sunday are still awaited.

The family-run business goes back six decades to when brothers Con and Eric Hynes set up a small manufacturing unit making fitted kitchens.

It expanded over the years and was rebranded as Christoff, specialising in bespoke kitchens, bathrooms, and furniture for the residential and commercial markets.

The company is run by brothers Alan and Robert Hynes who have carried on the family tradition of innovation and quality.

It has a workforce of 35 skilled employees with showrooms in Stillorgan, Co Dublin and Hillsborough, Co Down.

Naturally devastated by seeing a lifetime’s work going up in smoke, the company now hope to resume manufacturing in a premises in the Dundalk area in the coming weeks.


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