Arson in Laois estate leaves houses evacuated

Up to nine people in emergency accommodation after malicious fire

news reporter


news reporter

O'Moore Place, Portlaoise

O'Moore Place, Portlaoise.

A number of houses had to be evacuated in the O’Moore Place estate of Portlaoise last Friday when a vacant council house was set on fire in a malicious act of arson.

It is understood that around nine people had to be rehoused in emergency accommodation after the blaze threatened to spread and cause damage to up to five houses.

Speaking to the Leinster Express, Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said that an entire block of houses had to be evacuated due to the fire last Friday, March 9, with residents having to be put up in emergency accommodation.

She said the incident happened at 3.30pm when a vacant council house was set alight. Cllr Dwane Stanley’s mother lives in the estate and had to be evacuated, and the councillor also revealed that a young pregnant woman with four children had to be evacuated from the danger.

She said that in total five houses were affected.

Laois Fire Service have confirmed that 20 crew members from the Portlaoise and Mountmellick fire service units attended the scene and were able to get the blaze under control quite quickly. However, the vacant house was destroyed and a number of other houses suffered fire and smoke damage.

The gardaí have confirmed that there was a fire at a vacant local authority house on Friday, March 9, with the fire service and gardaí attending the scene.

Extensive damage was caused to one house and it is understood that other properties were evacuated as the damaged house was subject to roof collapse and was internally structurally unsound.

Gardai are appealing for witnesses as the fire occurred during daylight hours.

Laois County Council has confirmed that five adults and four children were placed in emergency accommodation following the fire.