A BLARNEY Street businessman said it is a miracle no one was killed after a car was set alight outside his showrooms in an arson incident in the early hours of Sunday morning.
William O’Sullivan, who owns and manages his family business Blarney Street Fires and Stoves for the past 41 years, said the fire really scared the tenants living in apartments on either side of his business and if it was not for the quick thinking of his neighbours and the fast action of the Cork City Fire Brigade he could have lost his livelihood.
Around 6am on Sunday Morning a group set fire to a car outside his business, which is one of the largest suppliers of fireplaces and stoves in Cork.
The car fire quickly escalated, setting the car next to it on fire as well. The tyres and petrol tank exploded and the double glazed windows of the showrooms cracked under the pressure of the heat.
Mr O’Sullivan said if it had not been for the reinforced windows things could have been a lot worse.
As it stands there was €3,000 to €5,000 worth of damage done to the showrooms between broken windows and smoke damage.
“It was mindless thuggery,” Mr O’Sullivan said, “ I almost lost my business and my livelihood and the residents of the apartments could have lost their lives.” Mr O’Sullivan said it was like a scene from Miami Vice outside his showrooms this morning with Gardaí, Fire Brigade and residents standing around after vacating their homes.
“There were lights, smoke and flames everywhere. All our lives could have been changed overnight,” Mr O’Sullivan said, “I think it was the tough glass that saved the showrooms. If the glass had blown in, it could have been a lot worse for everyone. The main thing is no one was hurt.” Mr O’Sullivan thanked the Fire Brigade and the Gardaí for their help and also said his neighbours had been very supportive since the incident.
A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office said nobody was injured in the incident and an investigation has been launched.