UPDATE: Fire in Portlaoise 'likely to have been started deliberately'

Statement from Chief Fire Officer for Laois County Fire and Rescue Service

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

UPDATE: Fire in Portlaoise 'likely to have been started deliberately'

A fire at 70 Laurel Drive, Esker Hills, in Portlaoise which completely gutted a boarded up house is "likely to have been started deliberately".

Chief Fire Officer for Laois County Fire and Rescue Service Declan Power said they received a call at 14:53 on Tuesday afternoon.

"The house was unoccupied and boarded up and although investigations are ongoing into the cause it is likely to have been started deliberately," he said.

"The upstairs and roof were fully alight when the crews arrived. A total of 15 fire service personnel with 2 fire appliances, a water tanker and the hydraulic platform attended.

Once the fire was almost extinguished a two person team wearing breathing apparatus entered to check if anyone was inside," he added.

Portlaoise and Stradbally fire services attended along with the National Ambulance Service and an Garda Síochána.

"The upstairs and roof were fully alight when the crews arrived," Mr Power said.

A total of 15 fire service personnel with two fire appliances, a water tanker and the hydraulic platform attended the scene and crews are still at the scene dampening it down.

The house is completely destroyed, it is a big detached house that has been idle and boarded up for a number of years, residents say they were worried about the building and its use because it was the scene of anti-social behaviour.

It is understood residents had made complaints to the local authority about the house.

No injuries have been reported.