Gardai carried out a technical examination of the scene of a fire that destroyed more than 160 cars at a compound in county Louth in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The fire, at Cassidy Car Parts in Grangebellew, was reported around 5am and fire crews were still at the scene this afternoon.
At one point there were 41 fire fighters working to bring it under control as 6 fire tenders, 2 water tankers and a specialised foam unit as well as the incident and command centre, were deployed.
“We had to evacuate three houses and we worked to stop it spreading to them and to nearby sheds,” one of the firefighters explained.
The fire service responded from each of the 5 fire stations in the county fire service and one unit also came from Navan, county Meath.
The chief fire officer for county Louth, Eamon Woulfe, confirmed that between 160 and 170 vehicles were destroyed. No injuries were reported.
End of life cars are stored and dismantled at the facility under a licensed waste permit.
A spokesman for the fire service said they had managed to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to other buildings and also to an area where there were containers of petrol.
Initial indications are that the fire may have started at the edge of the storage area and quickly spread.
Mr Woulfe said “this was a very very large fire and all of the fire services were involved in responding with crews from Drogheda, Dundalk, Ardee, Dunleer and Carlingford.”
A garda spokesperson confirmed that gardai attended the scene and are investigating the fire. “The scene was preserved for an examination by Garda technical experts.”
This is the second fire to break out in a vehicle storage compound in county Louth this year; in March about 90 vehicles were destroyed by a fire at an unrelated facility at Haggardstown south of Dundalk.