Blaze destroys shopping centre multi-storey car park in Cork, Ireland
Fire fighters in Cork, Ireland, battled a major fire in a multi-storey car park on Saturday evening, 31 August 2019. The blaze in the shopping-centre car park that left 60 cars damaged or gutted may have inflicted serious structural damage. The blaze, caused by a fire in a parked people carrier which spread to other vehicles, is feared to have inflicted damage that could run to millions of euro. Cork City Fire Brigade said they had over 40 fire fighters from both Cork City and County Fire Brigade on scene, as well as seven pumping appliances, three platforms, two control units and a water tanker.
Manager of the centre Bartisz Mieszala paid tribute to his staff and the emergency services for dealing with the fire on Saturday night in such a professional manner. "Obviously we were dealing with a major emergency," he said. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their patience. I want to thank Cork Fire Brigade, gardaí and everyone else involved for their quick response and the fantastic work they have done since Saturday evening.
Because of the damage to level one of the multi-storey car park adjacent to Douglas Village Shopping in Co Cork, hundreds of cars parked on upper levels may have to be individually lifted out by special crane - a process that could take several days to complete.
"This could have been much worse without them and without the quick response of our own team here. The evacuation went off very quickly and very smoothly," he added. Mieszala said he is awaiting special reports from consultancy and engineering experts on the scale of the damage caused by the fire. "At the moment a team of consultants and engineers are trying to establish where we are in relation to the building.
"For now, what we know is that it is not safe to enter. Even for ourselves. We are not allowed inside so we just have to wait for all the steel to cool down. We will know more within the next 24 hours."
Gardaí are satisfied the blaze that caused millions of euros of worth of damage and destroyed up to 60 cars at a multi-storey car park in Cork started accidentally. Supt Colm O’Sullivan said a car caught fire at the five-storey Douglas Village Shopping Centre on Saturday evening, causing serious structural damage to the building. A Garda technical team entered the building on Sunday morning and were able to trace the source of the blaze to a people carrier which caught fire in the central parking block on Level 1.
Supt O’Sullivan said the car’s owner had spotted it on fire at about 18h30 and raised the alarm. Security personnel sealed off the parking area and began evacuating the shopping centre. “We can trace the source of the fire to a people carrier but until such time as we can identify the chassis number from that vehicle we cannot positively identify the make of the vehicle involved,” he said.
Supt O’Sullivan said Garda technical teams were able to trace the source of the fire to the people carrier from the damage to the roof area immediately overhead which suggested it was the longest burning area in the block.
Sources: The Independent and The Irish Times