Gardaí investigating suspected Christmas Day arson in Limerick

Gardaí investigating suspected Christmas Day arson in Limerick

Gardai are investigating a suspected Christmas Day arson in Limerick city, writes David Raleigh.

The fire broke out in the former Woodwork Store premises, in Thomondgate, shortly before 6am.

It's the third suspicious fire at the premises in four years.

Gardaí investigating suspected Christmas Day arson in Limerick

The former furniture store which also supplied timber was gutted in a suspected arson attack in 2012, and was set alight again in another incident earlier this year.

It was a busy Christmas morning for Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service "Green Watch" unit who responded to the blaze.

Gardaí investigating suspected Christmas Day arson in Limerick

Four fire trucks and 14 fire fighters responded to the alert.

Two teams wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire after tackling the roof high flames for an hour and a half.

The fire service also used a 100ft Bronto aerial appliance to dampen down the fire.

"It's not yet clear what was used to start it but its believed it to be malicious," said a source.

In 2012, after the first fire which gutted the building, Gardai were searching for a male suspect.

The timber and furniture store had been operating for more than 30 years when it was destroyed in the fire.

At the time, the owner of the building, who also operated a paint shop next door, and other surrounding dwellings, Patrick Moloney, said he believed the 2012 fire was started maliciously.

"I actually got a call from a friend at first, and then I got a call from the gardaí about 9am. It's malicious, they said. We've had incidents here for the past two weeks so, all I can do is wait and see what the gardaí say to me," Mr Moloney said following the first fire.

Joe and Kitty Collins ran the furniture store from 1980-2012.

An emotional Mr Collins, (68), said following the first blaze: "You work all your life doing something and then this happens. I'm devastated."

The business, which was completely destroyed in the 2012 fire, had supplied wood to the DIY community, carpenters and schools in the Limerick area. It had also supplied fitted kitchens and bedroom furniture.

Gardai at Mayorstone are investigating this morning's blaze.


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