Latest: Company apologises following Cork harbour blaze; fire crews to stay on site through the night 

Latest: Company apologises following Cork harbour blaze; fire crews to stay on site through the night 

The scene a large fire at a Port of Cork site in Ringaskiddy today. Pics Cork County Fire Service, Carragline Station

Latest: Cork County Council have said fire crews will remain at the site of a large fire throughout the night.

A major blaze broke out in the R and H Hall Grain Store at 8.40am this morning. 

"Crews arrived on site at 9am with tenders from Carrigaline, Cobh and Crosshaven together with an aerial appliance from Midleton and a Command Vehicle from Bandon," the Council said in a statement. "There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident. 

"The Port of Cork suspended all shipping operations in Ringaskiddy, however shipping is expected to resume in the morning." 

Looking across at a large fire at a grain storage facility at the Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth.
Looking across at a large fire at a grain storage facility at the Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth.

The fire was brought under control at 10am and remains contained. 

"Fire Service Crews are maintaining a presence on site to expose and extinguish any hot spots that may exist within the storage facility," the Council said. "As Fire Crews manage this incident and remove panels from the structures to access hot spots, any flare up may produce fresh smoke.

"Cork County Council would like to reassure members of the public that this is a standard approach to managing an incident such as this, which involves natural, organic animal feed.

"Any smoke arising from the site is as a result of this organic animal feed material." 

Earlier: R&H Hall has apologised to people in the Ringaskiddy area after this morning's large fire in a grain store belonging to the company.

This evening, the company issued a statement saying it has been liaising with emergency services and the Port of Cork in the wake of the fire, which was tackled by more than 30 firefighters.

The statement continued: "We would like to thank the emergency services and the Port of Cork team for their quick response and ongoing management of the incident. We would also like to apologise to local residents, neighbouring businesses and our customers for any inconvenience caused by the incident."

Earlier, local residents in Ringaskiddy raised concerns about poor communication about this morning’s fire..

This afternoon, fire brigade units from Carrigaline, Crosshaven, Cobh, Midleton and Bandon were in attendance at the fire in the R&H Hall animal feed storage facility.

In a statement, the Ringaskiddy Residents Association said they were relieved there were no injuries as a result of the fire at the R&H Hall store. 

But they say there is concern about “what potential toxins remain in the air as the site continues to smoulder.” 

Firefighters hosing down flames at the scene.
Firefighters hosing down flames at the scene.

“A major concern exists in that residents had to initially contact Port Authorities to gain information on what exactly was burning, and if it was safe to remain in the village. 

The continued: "Ringaskiddy Residents Association immediately advised residents to remain indoors and keep doors and windows closed until it was determined what was burning and if it was safe to remain in the area – eventually Port of Cork advised the same.” 

 Units of the Cork Fire Brigade on the scene. Picture Dan Linehan
Units of the Cork Fire Brigade on the scene. Picture Dan Linehan

The association also said that it is not in possession of an Emergency Plan for the area, despite having a number of pharmaceutical companies in the area.

The statement added: “The residents of Cork Lower Harbour, including Ringaskiddy, have for many years fought the plans of locating an incinerator in the area, and it is for this very reason that it should not be located here due to the proximity to the village, and the Irish Naval Base, and with such a potential for a similar or worse event to occur.” 

 Fire at the deep water port.
Fire at the deep water port.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath also raised concerns about the level of communication to local residents.

“Firstly, the communication with the local community this morning was very inadequate," he said. "The extent to which an emergency plan was activated remains unclear and questions will need to be answered.” 

“It was very fortunate this morning that the wind was not blowing in the immediate direction of Ringaskiddy Village. 

"If it had been, the risks could have been far greater and was there a clear plan to deal with such a scenario.” 

He said he will be raising the incident at a meeting of Cork County Council on Monday.

“I will be seeking a thorough investigation and full information in relation to an incident emergency plan," he said. 

"In one way we may have been fortunate this morning given the wind direction, but clearly we should not be relying good fortune. Adequate measures need to be in place for the protection of the local community, a community which already puts up with an awful lot.” 

The Port of Cork have been contacted for comment.

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