All-night fight to bring blaze under control
INFERNO: Buildings gutted as fire spreads
A PROBE was launched today after a blaze gutted four buildings in Dublin city centre.
Garda forensic experts were trying to establish the cause of the blaze, which sent a massive cloud of smoke over the capital.
The incident began in New York Dry Cleaners on Middle Abbey Street at about 9pm and firefighters battled the flames throughout the night.
John Keogh, the senior fire officer on the scene, revealed there was "extensive damage" to the cleaners and three buildings at the rear.
He said the buildings were "all pretty much gutted" from the ground floor up to the roof.
The dry cleaners is located in a four-storey building and the blaze took hold quickly.
Huge turntable ladders were used to fight the flames from a position high over the rooftops.
Six fire engines were sent to the scene, along with two water tankers and an ambulance. Searches were carried out of the buildings but no one needed to be evacuated.
The ground floor of the cleaners collapsed into the basement and the fire travelled up the building into the roof.
Three storage buildings at the back of the dry cleaners were also severely affected.
An adjoining building was also badly damaged by smoke and water.
Mr Keogh said firemen were forced to fight the blaze from outside the building for hours.
At one stage, Dublin City Council was asked to increase water pressure in the district when the fire brigade realised it was weakening.
In addition, Bord Gais cut off gas in the area, while the ESB shifted overhead power lines away from the scene.