GARDAÍ are investigating a fire which caused extensive damage to three properties in an east Cork village.
The fire broke out in an unoccupied house in Whitegate late on Monday night. It quickly spread to an adjoining house, which was also unoccupied, and to a flat over an adjoining supermarket.
Fire brigade units from Midleton rushed to the scene after the blaze broke out shortly before 11pm.
They were unable to prevent the building where the fire started from being gutted. The unoccupied building next door was also extensively damaged and the roof of the flat over Day’s supermarket was destroyed.
However, the fire brigade, which spent some hours at the scene, was able to prevent the blaze from spreading further.
Gardaí sealed off the scene and technical experts were yesterday carrying out a forensic examination to determine the cause.
A garda spokesman said they were keeping an open mind. He said it was too early to say what happened but as they were appealing to anybody who witnessed the fire or who saw any suspicious activity in the area to contact them.
* Anyone with information is asked to contact Midleton gardaí on 021-4621550.