Overnight Blackpool fire 'depressing and inevitable' for village

Overnight Blackpool fire 'depressing and inevitable' for village

Fire fighters attend a fire in vacant buildings on Thomas Davis St, Blackpool yesterday evening. Pic: Fiona Ryan

TWO vacant buildings in Blackpool went up in flames last night in what has been described as 'depressing and inevitable' for the village.

The buildings, part of a block of five vacant buildings located on Thomas Davis St, had been earmarked for future housing developments by Cork City Council.

Cork City fire department was alerted to the fire at approximately 7.20pm last night.

Three units attended the scene, preventing the fire from spreading beyond the second of five buildings.

Local councillor Fiona Ryan described the fire as 'bitterly disappointing' for Blackpool.

Ms Ryan lives across the road from the site.

"I am genuinely sickened that this happened," she said.

"It has been on the cards for years and has been raised by me and other councillors in the area, including John Sheehan, as a health and safety and fire hazard, especially since the Grenfell fire."

The buildings were due to go out to part 8 development in the coming weeks for redevelopment. Similar projects have targeted vacant sites on Barrack Street, White Street and Blarney Street in recent weeks.

"That is what makes this such a terrible blow for the village," Ms Ryan said.

"The area desperately needs this new lease of life, new families, new people. I am incredibly disappointed but this was, sadly, inevitable. "

Ms Ryan said the buildings were being used as a squat since late last year.

She said as many as eight different people could be spotted going in and out at various times of the day.

"It wasn't unusual to see people in and out of there. It is a good thing that this fire happened at this time of day. In the middle of the night, it could have spread very quickly. In the early evening, people were around and were able to alert the fire department right away," she added.

"We had specifically warned about the dangers of this site at a number of meetings. Obviously, this puts the whole future of these sites into question.

"Blackpool needed this development. It needed these houses. It needed something positive."

Cork City fire department confirmed that there were no injuries during the incident.

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