Structure examined at burnt hotel

Firecrews tackle a blaze in the old County Hotel in Portlaoise during lunchtime on Monday June 8.
In the aftermath of a fire at a former hotel on Portlaoise Main Street last Monday June 8, the structure is now being assessed by Laois County Council for danger.

In the aftermath of a fire at a former hotel on Portlaoise Main Street last Monday June 8, the structure is now being assessed by Laois County Council for danger.

The building on lower Main Street is vacant since 1994. It suffered much damage from the fire, with the roof and windows broken by fire crews working urgently to stop it spreading.

Now boarded up, it is being assessed by “Dangerous Structures” engineers.

“The risk assessment is being carried out by our engineers in the Dangerous Structures section regarding the Hotel in Portlaoise. It will inform the next steps in relation to issuing statutory notices,” said Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services with Laois County Council, and responsible for the Fire Services and Dangerous Structures sections.

“The fire services dealt with fires in a very efficient manner over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

The owner of a burnt out hotel in Ballinakill, which suffered devastating damage in a recent fire, has been ordered to make it safe.

It had lain derelict for over 20 years and needed immediate boarding up to protect pedestrians after the fire on June 3.

“A dangerous structures notice has been issued to the owner. Laois County Council area staff erected barriers around the footpath and access around the building to protect the public from any danger posed by the current state of the structure,” said Mr Kehoe.

The third fire in the same week occurred at the Presentation Convent in Portlaoise, which dates back to the 1830’s, and was boared up for the past decade. The fire caused “significant damage”, on Sunday night June 7.

“We were just minutes away from losing the entire building,” said Anthony Tynan, chief fire officer.