Authorities prepare to demolish fire-hit carpark as more businesses announce lay-offs

Authorities prepare to demolish fire-hit carpark as more businesses announce lay-offs

Final preparations are being made for the demolition of the fire-ravaged multi-storey carpark which forced the closure of a Cork shopping centre 10 days ago.

Services to the Douglas Village Shopping Centre are being cut and internal work to facilitate the demolition is underway as consultants were busy tonight finalising the schedule of demolition works, but it should get underway before the end of the week.

However, it has emerged that six undamaged cars still remain inside the carpark and that a new approach for their safe removal is being considered.

It took several days last week for a crane to remove almost 130 undamaged cars one-by-one from the carpark structure.

But six vehicles have yet to be retrieved. Three are located on the carpark roof above the demolition zone, and three are located on level one, between the access ramps but far enough from the seat of the fire to remain undamaged.

Authorities prepare to demolish fire-hit carpark as more businesses announce lay-offs

Shopping centre manager Bartosz Mieszala said engineers are hopeful the vehicles can be removed.

“They are working on that at the moment. We will need to approach these vehicles differently but we are confident that they can be recovered. We are in touch with the owners,” he said.

The fall-out from the August 31 blaze continues - with more job losses announced today.

Ray O’Brien, the owner of record store Music Zone, said he has had to let his two staff go as a result of the fire.

In an email to customers, he said he had to ask his two colleagues, who he described as “brilliant lads, brilliant employees” to speak to welfare officials about their situation, and that he has “some big decisions to make” about the future direction of his store.

He said he has received “some incredible, incredible offers from individual people” and an “equally incredible generous and kind-hearted offer of help from other businesses”.

Coughlan’s live music venue on Douglas St offered Music Zone space for free, he said.

Authorities prepare to demolish fire-hit carpark as more businesses announce lay-offs

“The problem is a business can haemorrhage money in the situation I am in,” he said.

The short-term plan is to find a “nice reasonably-priced space for Christmas” with a view to eventually moving back into the shopping centre, he said.

There was some good news though for Leonard's Hair and Beauty, which has relocated to a temporary space in Chocolate Hair and Beauty in nearby Maryborough Hill.

Dennehy’s Health and Fitness, which has a gym upstairs in the shopping centre, said they are still working as efficiently as they can through the various customer queries about the impact the fire has had on their gym membership at the Douglas facility.

It has already said that customers of its Douglas gym can have full access to their gym facilities in Ballincollig and Blackpool.

The city council has introduced one hour of free parking in the village and CinemaWorld Douglas is still offering one hour of free parking in its carpark.

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