We could only watch as business gutted by blaze
Two Dublin businessman have told of how they could only stand helpless as they watched their livelihoods go up in flames, with one of them having only moved into the premises just four months ago.
Billy Gill and Philip Browne ran Baldoyle Motor Factors and Baldoyle Tyres in the Baldoyle Industrial Estate, but their businesses, which operated under one roof, were gutted by fire on Tuesday night.
"I am just gobsmacked. I don't know where to start," Billy told the Herald.
"I had the business in a place around the corner for five years, and got the chance to move in with Philip around four months ago.
"But a friend saw on Facebook on Tuesday evening that it was on fire and rang me to tell me. I thought it was a wind-up at first but then other people started ringing me," he added.
"I came down straight away. All I could do was tell them of the different chemicals and flammable products inside and where they were, and then I just had to leave them to it," said Billy.
"We have no idea yet what caused the fire, but I really don't know where I go from here or how to go about getting going again.
"I have a wife and two children to support so I have to do something," he added.
Philip Browne told the Herald that he had started in business at the site in the summer of 2012.
"It was going well, especially when Billy came in, and now I just don't know what to do. I don't know where this leaves me," he said.
"We have been getting great support from the community here which means a lot to us."
The fire has also proved devastating for customer Laura Stacey, who left her car in for repair earlier in the evening.
"The car is just a 2006 Fiesta but it's my little run-around and I loved her. I've had her for years," she said.
"It is very smoke-damaged and probably a write-off, but my heart really goes out to the lads. They have lost their livelihoods just before Christmas and I am heartbroken for them."