According to a spokesperson for UCD the fire broke out as construction workers sought to remove the footbridge connecting the Chemistry and Science Hub buildings, when sparks fell on a pile of discarded roofing felt near the site.
Workers continued with the process, but then noticed the smouldering flames and summoned the fire services before attempting to smother the fire with available fire extinguishers. The fire brigade arrived promptly, and ensured that the smouldering was safely extinguished before leaving the scene and permitting construction to resume work as planned for the rest of the night. No one was injured by the fire.
This is the second fire to occur in the complex in recent months in the midst of ongoing construction work. The last fire, which occurred on the afternoon of Wednesday 13th January, was caused when an overheated boiler exploded. The previous fire was also extinguished without injury.
The entire UCD Science complex is currently undergoing major a restoration and upgrading programme. Plans were put to Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council in 2005 and work began on the reconstruction and expansion of the Chemistry building in September 2008. It is hoped that the construction and refurbishment would place UCD at the forefront of scientific research, and thus attract more funding to the college as well as postgraduate students. The construction work is being pursued in phases, with Chemistry work ongoing for the foreseeable future.