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Fire in Tom Kelly Flats Leaves Many People Trapped in their Homes

category dublin | housing | news report author Thursday October 31, 2013 11:37author by Nico Report this post to the editors

A fire broke out this morning at around 2am in Tom Kelly Flats, Charlemont Street, leaving many people trapped inside their homes.

Residents in the 3rd – Block were woken to the yells of “Fire!” by a concerned neighbour in the adjacent block, as the blaze quickly engulfed the main hall and stairway.
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Stacks of pallets had been stored there last night by local youths in preparation for Halloween celebrations. The pallets were then set alight by person(s) unknown, creating a substantial blaze and cutting off all access to the block.

From the time a distress call was made to the fire service, it was a full 25 minutes before they reached the trapped residents inside the block of flats. Later on the fire Chief stated, it would have taking longer to reach the trapped residents if any more of the pallets inside had also caught fire.

Currently, there are no fire exits in any of the blocks. If the fire had in any way been more significant, the residents, some of whom were young children, had absolutely no means of escaping its path, and no other option than to sit it out and wait for the fire service to come to their aid.

This is highly unacceptable!

Having to solely rely on how quickly the fire service can reach you within a giving time is dicing with death.

Organising an escape route is an essential and basic planning procedure in reducing the risk of injury by fire. The residents of Tom Kelly Flats do not have this basic requirement.

This isn’t the first time fire has caused dangerous and unsafe conditions for the residents living here. In the early 80’s, the roof from the same block of flats was set ablaze, causing extensive damage allegedly responsible for many of the problems existing now in the block such as a leaky roof, and mould growth.

Thankfully this time a near and potential disaster was narrowly avoided, and nobody was seriously hurt!

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author by Tpublication date Thu Oct 31, 2013 21:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are these old flats? If so does that explain why there is no fire exit? I find it hard to believe that there is none and if not then this should be made a priority with the council

author by Nicopublication date Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are correct, the flats are very old, but this doesn't excuse why there are no fire exists. The are fire exist extensions that can be applied to the exterior of the building, this is what we need to pressure the council into installing!

author by Tpublication date Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As far as I know there has been at least one case where apartments built during the boom had an inadequate fire exits and the council & safety inspectors declared the building unsafe and all the residents had to move out and that is more than a year ago while works were carried out to fix them up.

So it seems that there is some kind of mechanism there to get it fixed although again I stress the safety rules are different depending on the building age, but I know there is a minimum.

Also a few years back the Seomra Spraoi crowd got a building near the centre of town, but they after they spent a lot of effort doing it up, then were then raided and barred from using the building because of "fire safety regulations". So it seems when they want to, the State very willingly uses these rules. It strikes me that they don't seem the residents of the flats as a priority, so I think you / they need to find out what they various bylaws and safety rules are so they know where they stand and then to start applying real pressure.

author by Des - nonepublication date Fri Nov 01, 2013 19:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course they are not a priority, they're working class people

 
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