Former Cork tax office to be knocked after two fires

The former tax office in Cork city centre is to be demolished within weeks, after it was the scene of two fires in two days, writes Noel Baker.

A senior fire officer said more security might be required at the property on O’Sullivan’s Quay, warning of the risk of “another St Kevin’s”, in reference to a massive blaze at a vacant HSE-owned building in the city in July.

Fire fighters sort their breathing apparatus at the scene of a fire at the former tax office in Cork City. Picture: Larry Cummins

Fire services received a call at 12.04pm yesterday and were at the seven-storey building, formerly used by the Revenue Commissioners, within two minutes to see a fire on the top floor and plumes of smoke spreading over the nearby area.

Third Fire Officer Gerry Myers, incident commander at the scene, said a youth nearby was concerned that two of his friends could still be inside the building.

Six units of the fire brigade brought the blaze under control, with 26 fire personnel at the scene. A complete sweep of the building was carried out, but nobody was found inside.

Mr Myers said a mattress was the likely cause of the fire, and said another fire had broken out on the fourth floor of the building the previous day, attended by four units of the fire brigade.

The sweep of the building also revealed that material had been gathered together on both the fifth and sixth floors which could have posed a fire risk.

“There is anti-social behaviour [there],” he said, adding that he had been told that the property was to be demolished in the coming weeks.

“Securing it between now and then is the problem or we could have another St Kevin’s on our hands,” Mr Myers warned.

A spokesman for building owners BAM Property Ltd said the company would link in with the local fire services to review security at the property, which is due to be demolished within weeks.

This article first appeared on the Irish Examiner.



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