Emergency services attended the scene of a major fire in Kilkenny today.
A hotel was evacuated and two people were rescued from a burning building. Gardaí said the preservation of life was their first priority.
The fire was at the historic Bridge House at John Street, Kilkenny City and the situation was ongoing at 12 noon on Wednesday.
A garda on the beat on John Street at 9.30am spotted smoke coming from a historic building and entered the building and rescued a sleeping couple.
The male and female who were asleep in the burning building were not injured.
Gardaí have launched a criminal investigation and are describing it as 'critical incident'.
The Kilkenny People has reported that a man in his twenties has been arrested in connection with the fire.