By James Fogarty
A devastating fire ripped through two local businesses in the South Roscommon village of Curraghboy on Sunday afternoon. There are now fears that the tragedy could see more than half the jobs in the village lost.
The fire, which began shortly before one o’clock, destroyed the popular local pub McDermott’s Bar, and severely damaged the Deluxe Hair and Beauty Salon, which occupies the same building. The blaze is not being treated as suspicious. People were present in the building when the fire broke out but everyone had been safely evacuated by the time the fire service arrived and no one was injured.
It is understood that an outside barbecue was being prepared at the time, but the cause of the fire has not yet been fully determined, say Gardaí.
Three units of the Athlone Fire Service were called to the scene at 12.50 p.m. and fought the intense fire for hours. Although the fire had taken hold by the time the fire service rushed to the scene, the 14 firefighters were able to rescue almost all the contents of the salon but the building itself was gutted.
A hydraulic platform was among the vehicles deployed by the fire service as the flames had spread to the roof, which has been completely destroyed. As it was too dangerous to send firefighters inside the building, the hydraulic platform was used to fight the blaze safely.
A spokesperson for the fire service, who described the incident as a “major fire”, stated that it was a case of stopping the flames from spreading any further and saving what they could. He added that due to the extent of the fire it was difficult to bring it under control.