A resident of an apartment building in Dublin that caught on fire on Sunday evening has spoken of the “terrifying” blaze that has left potentially hundreds of people unable to return to their homes.
Pictures on social media showed smoke billowing from the Falcon’s View apartment block in Blanchardstown just before 6pm on Sunday evening.
Seven units from Dublin fire brigade attended the scene and managed to extinguish the fire after approximately an hour. There were no reported injuries.
Hundreds of residents, onlookers and patrons from the neighbouring Crown Plaza hotel watched the blaze.
Kiowa Daly, a resident on the seventh floor of the high rise building, was in his apartment when the fire began.
He said: “I could hear some crackling and sizzling and I thought someone might have just had a barbecue or something on their balcony, which isn’t allowed in the first place.
“That was my first thought and I could hear it and I went to my girlfriend and I said, you know, I think someone has a barbecue or there’s a fire.
“At this point, the fire alarm hadn’t been set off yet, so I went and did a double check out on the balcony and I could see some ashes falling from above me.
“I said, ‘right we need to go’, at that point the alarm went off as well. So we grabbed our stuff that we could get, my keys and my wallet, so then we just left.
“We’ve been out here for the last two or three hours, just waiting for an update.”
Mr Daly said there was emotional scenes as people watched their homes become an “inferno”.
“Lots of emotions, I’d say. Lots of people were around,” he said.
He added: “There’s lots of onlookers, the people in the hotel as well had to evacuate as it’s right beside the apartments, so hundreds outside watching the inferno.”
Mr Daly added that from what he could see from the exterior of the building his home was “completely burnt”.
Another resident of the building, Hrvoje Lasic, returned home after a day out to see his seventh floor apartment ablaze.
“I run away straight to see what’s happening, so I know there’s loads of vehicles firefighters and everything,” he said.
“I was in fear that my apartment was gone. So it was terrifying.”
Mr Lasic said he may be forced to sleep in his car until he is offered help from the building management.
Former Socialist party TD Ruth Coppinger was alerted to the scene by a resident.
Ms Coppinger said the speed at which the fire spread across floors was concerning.
“The situation is it seems to be that there’s at least a dozen apartments that are directly impacted with fire and damage,” she said.
“The really scary thing is how quickly it spread, somebody showed me a video they took, a resident, within five minutes, five floors the fire had spread.
“I mean that’s actually, serious questions there about building regulations, that there isn’t a stop on floors.
“It also seems to have started on one floor and gone up and down.
“Again a lot of concerning things there because they’re planning on doing a lot more high-rise apartments in this centre.”
Ms Coppinger also said the management company was responsible for residents in the “immediate term”, and stated that “Blanchardstown is the epicentre of the housing crisis”.