Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after a car smashed into a tanning shop, causing an extensive fire to the premises and overhead apartments in the centre of Carlow town.
Fire brigade units from Carlow Town and nearby Bagenalstown fire station were at the scene on Tullow Street from 5am on Tuesday.
It is understood the car was driven at speed into the building before it went on fire, with the shop and overhead apartments being destroyed.
The entire building was safely evacuated and no injuries were reported.
Garda Superintendent Aidan Brennan speaking on KCLRFM said: “Anybody who lights a fire in an occupied building is entirely reckless as to the safety of the occupants of that building.
“It’s a horrendous act. We are going to be intensifying our patrols here around the town in the coming days and weeks in order to prevent any further outbreaks of this nature.”
Gda Supt Brennan said that their investigation is centred on the motive, why it took place and why the building was targeted.
”We had a very serious incident on Tullow Street. Our members responded very quickly and rapidly as did the fire services,” said Supt Brennan.
“There was extensive damage to the shop and the building in general. We alerted all of the residents and everyone was evacuated very quickly and the fire was brought under control by the fire services.
“Thankfully nobody was injured. We were able to alert all of the residents there that were occupied. We are making a particular appeal for witnesses (from around Highfield Estate) or Tullow Street at or around that time of the incident. We have teams out doing house-to-house inquiries and gathering CCTV footage.
“The Garda lines of inquiry involve a dark coloured (Toyota) Avenis with a registration number of 08G4473.” Gardaí are appealing to anyone with information or video footage of this incident to come forward. Gardaí can be contacted at Tullow Garda station on 059 915 1222 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.
In a statement gardaí added: “No further information is available at this time. Enquiries are ongoing.”
Gardaí are appealing to anyone with information or video footage of this incident to come forward. Gardaí can be contacted at Tullow Garda Station on 059 915 1222 or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.