By David Raleigh
Residents at a nursing home in Clare have escaped unharmed after a small fire broke out tonight in a bedroom at the Westbury Nursing Home.
A source in the fire service said they believed the fire started after a lit cigarette accidentally made contact with a laundry basket in the bedroom of an elderly male resident.
The official cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed.
Gardaí, and three units from Limerick City and County Fire Service attended the scene after a 999 alert was received by emergency service control dispatchers at 7.30pm.
Residents, including an elderly male resident who was in the room at the time, were evacuated from their rooms and other areas to the main reception hall until fire crews arrived and made sure the fire was extinguished.
"There was lots of smoke in the room and the corridor from the laundry basket (fire), but fire prevention methods such as automatic fire alarms and automatic fire alarm doors prevented it spreading," a source in the fire service explained.
"All the residents were evacuated from (their) bedrooms to the main reception as a safety precaution. It was a small laundry basket fire in a resident's bedroom."
Fire crews made sure the building, located in Corbally, South East Clare, was well ventilated and left the nursing home at approximately 9pm.
No one was injured.
A spokesperson for the nursing home said it was a "small fire" and that there were "no issues" to report.