Residents report fire and explosion in Rathdowney

Hannah Cahill & Conor Ganly


Hannah Cahill & Conor Ganly

fire rathdowney

Smoke billowed from the rear of Midlands Hardware.

Rathdowney residents believe a truck fire resulted in thick black smoke and an explosion in the yard of a local hardware shop this weekend. 

At around 5.30pm on Sunday, May 19, locals of The Showgrounds housing estate noticed black smoke billowing from the back of Midland Hardware on Main Street of Rathdowney. The Showgrounds lies directly behind the shop. 

Around 15 minutes later an explosion was heard followed by a larger cloud of smoke.

Noel O’Sullivan, a resident of The Showgrounds, contacted Rathdowney crew of the Laois Fire and Rescue Service. He witnessed what happened.

“I saw the black smoke and first thought that it was someone’s chimney on fire, and when I came out to the front of my house I saw that it was coming from either inside or beside the big shed in Midland Hardware,” he said. 

Residents think a lorry which was parked in the yard behind the shop went on fire.

The Rathdowney fire crew were soon on the scene and had extinguished the blaze by 6.30pm