Crossabeg houses evacuated following explosions

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The acetyline cylinders being cooled.
The acetyline cylinders being cooled.

SEVERAL houses had to evacuated on Saturday afternoon after a fire broke out and threatened to spread to a number of stored acetyline cylinders at Garrycleary, Crossabeg.

Before fire fighters arrived at the scene of the blaze there were reports of at least two explosions, although it isn't clear what caused them or sparked the fire.

Consideration was given to closing the main N11 Wexford to Dublin road because of the proximity of the fire, although in the end this was not necessary. The operation to contain the incident was made more difficult because fire fighters had to direct a constant source of water on the cyclinders for 24 hours to cool them down and a source of water had to be found. Wexford's fire chief Paul L'Estrange said two fire tenders and a water tanker were sent to deal with the incident which was called in at 1.21 p.m. on Saturday.

'There was a house with an adjoining utility room, a small shed and a large garage with several propane cylinders and three acetyline cylinders. The problem with acetlyine is that it involved the full evacuation of a 200-metre zone in all directions, and the closure of the road,' he said. Mr L'Estrange said the guards organised the evacuations while the fire service consulted with gas company BOC for gas advice and the ESB cut the power to the premises, which was badly smoke- and fire-damaged.

He said the appliance from Enniscorthy was called in to provide cover for Wexford and to enable the crews to receive food and relief. Mr L'Strange said no-one was injured during the incident. The fire damaged garage and home is owned by 88-year-old William Burke.

Wexford People

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