Is Limerick Hotel fire a 3rd “Lucky Escape”?


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14 September 2015

“Firemen, attached to a high rise ladder, frantically tore through the front of the hotel with heavy duty equipment, as they followed the fire from the first floor up to the sixth floor”

In Limerick on Friday evening 100 guests watched from the street as above them fire-fighters demolished brickwork from the six storey building to access the fire.

“A large section of the front of the hotel building was removed by firefighters to allow them access and to contain the blaze as rooms became smoke filled and damaged”

This building was constructed in 1997. Since the early 1990s cavity barriers have been mandatory to stop fire spreading between floors and through the insulation. However, Limerick Station Officer James Keirns reported that:

“The insulation caught fire and ran up through the cladding and the brickwork and went through some of the ducts and into the building,”

Serious questions must be asked as to how this fire was not contained by the construction and how so many bedrooms could become smoke-logged when fire doors and automatic smoke vents are mandatory?

“A large hole has been left in the front of the building where the firemen ripped through the facade in search of the fire”

Many in the construction industry see this as yet another near miss due to the time of the outbreak- the alarm was raised at 8pm and not during the night when guests would be sleeping.

  • In March, residents managed to escape when six terrace houses were destroyed in less than an hour one afternoon at Millfield Manor, Newbridge, County Kildare. Minister Alan Kelly has ordered a review into the construction of the houses at the estate (See Irish Examiner article here).
  • In August, three residents were hospitalised and many homes left uninhabitable and smoke-logged following an afternoon fire at Northwood, Santry, County Dublin (See Journal article here).
  • As reported this week, over 600 residents at Longboat Quay, Dublin City, are under threat of emergency evacuation from their homes unless remedial fire safety works are carried out immediately (See Irish Examiner article here).

This is the third such “luck escape” from building fires in recent months where fortunately there have been no fatalities. There is widespread concern that the building industry is left to regulate itself, with little interference by Government. Under 2014 Regulations cavity barriers, fire breaks and smoke vents can still be signed-off by in-house by a developer’s own professional employee.

Press articles on Limerick fire from 11 September 2015 (click on title for links):

Other posts of Interest:

Michael Clifford: “when will we address cracks in construction?” Irish Examiner

You can still buy a non-compliant home…and it’s all perfectly legal | SI.9 Loopholes

Is the scene set for another Priory Hall? | Look Back 11

Further questions over Newbridge fire-trap houses that have ‘no resale value’

Reintroduce State Inspection of Buildings | Mick Wallace T.D.

Councillor calls for 100% “true” inspection and certification of all new homes

Meath County Council silent on alleged firetrap building | Irish Examiner

Is Riverwalk Court in Ratoath the next “Priory Hall”?

“These houses were rubbish” | Lobbying in the Construction Industry – Part 2

Lobbying in the Construction Industry – Part 1

More Fire Safety evacuations, European Committee of Social Rights court case & uninhabitable rented housing | NEWS

Kildare fire disaster shows madness of Kelly’s self-certification proposals | Green party

Independent inspection is essential – Flawed building regulations | Irish Examiner

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