Gardaí are investigating the circumstances of a fire that forced the evacuation of a large section of an apartment complex in Shannon this afternoon.
The blaze, at the Brú Na Sionna apartments in the town, was reported to Gardaí at around 3.00pm. It’s understood that a car was intentionally set on fire in the underground carpark.
Units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Shannon Town were initially mobilised to the scene while additional resources from Ennis station were also requested and dispatched.
Firefighters using breathing apparatus entered the underground carpark and promptly set about tackling the fire.
All apartments close to and above where the fire occurred were evacuated.
Fire crews also travelled from floor to floor internally to check apartments directly above the fire to ensure there was no one inside.
Fire crews had to use force to enter four apartments on floors directly above the fire and found an elderly lady inside one. She was found to be unharmed however.
Gardaí had requested firefighters to effect the forced entries to ensure that all persons were accounted for.
Fire service personnel also used fans to ventilate any apartments that were affected by smoke.
After the fire was extinguished and the area declared safe, the scene was photographed and technically examined by members of the Garda crime scene investigation unit.
Gardaí also spoke to residents and established from one eyewitness that a person was seen running away from the area shortly before the fire was reported.
A Garda spokesman said: “We are treating this fire as suspicious and are appealing for witnesses. We would ask anyone who was in the vicinity of the Brú Na Sionna apartments or Shannon Town Centre and saw anything suspicious to contact us at Shannon Garda station on 061 365900 or the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111.”