Twelve evacuated but no injuries in fire at fuel warehouse in Waterford
A large plume of smoke visible from the fire at Belview Port yesterday. Photograph: Anna Lehane-Davny
Firefighters battled for hours yesterday to put out a blaze at at a diesel unit in a warehouse on the outskirts of Waterford city.
The fire broke out at Southeast Port Services Ltd shortly before 10am and nine units from Waterford City, Dunmore East, Tramore and Thomastown in Kilkenny attended, bringing the blaze under control at 2.30pm.
Twelve people were evacuated from the premises and from a nearby facility, Target Fertilisers, and a 200-metre exclusion zone was set up.
The assistant chief fire officer at Waterford City Fire Service, Tony Murphy, said there was a danger that gas cylinders on site could explode and their presence resulted in the setting up of the exclusion zone.
“Gas cylinders are unstable and if heated can cause a reaction,” he said, adding that fire crews disposed of the cylinders safely.
The N29 link road leading to the warehouse was closed to traffic while firefighting operations took place, but it reopened after the fire was put out. Access to Belview Port had not been affected at all.
Firefighters contained the fire to the unit, which has been badly damaged, while smoke damage was also caused to neighbouring units.
A number of privately owned vehicles parked to the front of the building were also destroyed in the blaze. The fire was extinguished at about 2.30pm.
The fire services from Waterford were stood down while services from Kilkenny stayed on to carry out dampening down operations.
Investigations are taking place to determine the cause of the blaze, but Garda Sgt Larry Langton from Waterford station said it was not thought that the fire was started maliciously.