Eyewitness video shows 'horrifying' fire engulf Cork school

A video has emerged of the major overnight fire which left secondary school in north Cork badly damaged.

It took five units of Cork City and County Fire Services to control the blaze at Mallow's Patrician Academy, which began at around 3am.

It is understood that an older section of the school was not affected by the fire, but that an extension built in the 1990s was heavily damaged.

The boys’ secondary school, which dates back to the 1880s, is located on Fair Street in the town, close to many residential properties.

Michael Sullivan, a resident of Courtview, New Road, who took the video, described the scene as “horrifying to watch”.

He initially thought his own home was on fire, the noise was so loud, he told the Evening Echo’s Audrey Ellard Walsh.

“I live only about 30 yards from the front gate of the school and woke up to the sound of crackling,” he said.

“The near side of the school was blazing at that point and I saw two gardaí knocking on the doors of homes adjacent to the school, getting people up and out.

“Those people were in fierce danger as they were so close and we gave them a hand.”

Mr Sullivan saw flames spread across the roof of the school, a scene that he said was “horrifying to watch”.

“Ashes were falling on us and slates on the roof started cracking and flying through the air.

“It was desperate to watch such a fine school go up in flames. Frightening.”

The fire seen from a distance last night. Picture: Giedre Klovaite
The fire seen from a distance last night. Picture: Giedre Klovaite

Commenting on the news, former County Mayor Cllr John Paul O’Shea stated that “It is a very sad day for Mallow as the Patrician Academy has a long-standing educational link with the town.”

“I’m sure the people of Mallow and surrounds will support the reconstruction and opening of the school in the immediate future.”


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