herald

Sunday 23 July 2017

'We heard a big bang and kids screaming ', say teenagers as BBQ blamed for horror fire

The fire rages at the Verdemont apartment block
The fire rages at the Verdemont apartment block

Residents of a west Dublin apartment block ran for their lives yesterday when flames ripped through the top floor.

Gardai believe a barbecue may have caused the fire that destroyed two flats.

Dublin Fire Brigade were called to the Verdemont apartment block off the Snugborough Road in Blanchardstown at 5.10pm when fire broke out in a top floor apartment.

Six pumps, a turntable ladder and a command support vehicle attended the scene.

It is believed apartments on the ground floor were damaged by water as firefighters brought the flames under control.

Brycen Cluster (19) and his roommate Taylor Thompson (19) from America told the Herald that their home was one of those destroyed in the fire.

The two men have been living in Ireland for two years.

"We were in the flat next to the one that initially caught fire," said Mr Cluster.

"We heard a big bang and kids screaming outside.

"We then walked to our window and saw the flames.

"We grabbed our shoes and managed to leave.

"Sadly, we didn't manage to take any of our possessions with us."

"We don't know the extent of the damage but looking at our flat from the outside, it's clear not much will have been saved.

Personal

"We had a lot of family photos and personal things that are now gone.

"It's still setting in to be honest but I suppose it's out of our control.

"There's nothing you can do. We have to just move on."

Christina Farrell, who lives in one of the flats unaffected by the fire, said: "I was going to the gym when I saw a man on a balcony trying to put out a fire.

"I rang the fire brigade and they asked me what the situation was and how bad it was.

"They said just alert everyone and get them out

"I went inside [the burning apartment block] and started knocking on doors telling people to evacuate.

"By the time we got to the top floor there was so much smoke that it was hard to see so we had to get out of there."

A number of traffic diversions were put in place as firefighters fought the blaze.

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