Sleeping man is rescued from Bray blaze
A BRAY resident was lucky to escape with his life after the shop below his flat got caught up in a massive fire.
The man, who was believed to be asleep at the time, was rescued by staff from the Everest Bike Shop in the town centre.
The premises went up in flames after a fire started in a building behind it at about 4:50pm yesterday evening.
Thick black smoke and billowing flames were seen as the fire worsened after the blaze leapt between buildings and spread to tyres stored outside the bike shop located on Castle Street.
Peadar Smyth, the owner of Four Star Pizza, which is directly beside the row of shops beside the buildings caught up in the blaze, said he was lucky not to have his premises gutted.
"Had the wind been blowing in the other direction we would have been gone," he told the Herald.
Mr Smyth described the heat as "intense" and said that the gutters on the side of his building melted. He said that as many as 20 people work in the shops that were gutted by the fire - including a Polish supermarket, a Cash for Clothes outlet and a dog grooming parlour.
At least four units of the Wicklow Fire Brigade responded to the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised.
No one was believed to have been hurt in the incident, with fire-fighters working for hours to get the blaze under control.
Bray resident Tony Hall said the destruction was "very sad", pointing out that the building was more than 200 years old.
"I just left my bike in last week to get fixed. I'm lucky to have it back again," he added.
A separate gorse fire on Bray Head forced the temporary suspension of DART services yesterday between Bray and Greystones between approximately 5pm and 8pm.