A minor fire broke out in the UCD Science Centre South, informally known as the Chemistry Block, last Wednesday afternoon, 13th January.
Crews from two units of the Dublin Fire Brigade, aided by a basket crane, successfully battled to bring the fire under control and stop it spreading to the rest of the building.
It is believed that the blaze broke out when an overheated boiler exploded, causing materials in the plant room located on the fourth floor to catch fire. However, this is still under investigation and could not be confirmed by the university at the time of print.
The fire occurred in a section of the building which is currently under construction and therefore no students or staff were faced with immediate danger. Only a small number of students were present in the building at the time and evacuation was rapid and trouble-free. Plumes of thick smoke could be seen billowing from the rooftop with winds carrying the smoke northwards through the campus.
After the fire alarm was activated, UCD Buildings & Services investigated the incident and immediately contacted the city fire service, who arrived on scene within minutes. Additional ‘height units’ were called in from Pearse Street station, as the fire took place on top of a four-storey building.
According to Buildings & Services, all boilers are regularly serviced in accordance with standard Health and Safety procedures. This does not rule out such an incident happening again, although it is speculated that the severe cold spell may have compelled the boiler to be overused.
A spokesperson for the university stated that the fire was limited to the plant room on the roof of Science South A1. “As this area of the building is due for renovation, it had been stripped back to a shell in advance of any works,” he said. “There were no injuries, and the result of the localised fire will not affect ongoing renovations.”
The Dublin Fire Brigade were not available for comment at the time of going to print.