Significant damage caused to kitchen after early morning apartment fire
THREE students living in a Belgrove apartment have been relocated after a fire caused significant damage to the kitchen early in the morning of 2 April.
The residents of apartment 5, house 14 in Belgrove Student Residences were not injured as a result of the fire and did not require medical attention however the apartment was no longer habitable due to fire damage. No adjoining apartment incurred damage during the incident.
The fire brigade was summoned to the student apartment in the early hours of the morning to extinguish the fire after the residents were woken by the fire alarm in the hall of the apartment. The fire alarm in the kitchen reportedly did not sound.
A spokesperson for the university has confirmed the fire “caused significant damage to the kitchen area, the full cost of which will be assessed following an investigation into the incident.”
Pearse Contractors, the owners of Belgrove residences, are seeking for the university to pay for the necessary repair work to the apartment. It is not believed that the residents of the apartment will be made financially liable for the incident however, they may face disciplinary action by the university pending the results of a university inquest into the incident.
Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhán Ó Deá confirmed that “extensive” damage was caused to the premises in Belgrove as a result of a fire, but expressed concern that the fire alarm in the kitchen of the apartment did not sound to alert the students to the presence of smoke.
Mr Ó Deá described the malfunctioning fire alarm as being “definitely a concern” and said, “It is serious issue that the fire alarm in the kitchen didn’t go off. It is of paramount importance that all fire safety equipment on campus is operational.”
He explained that although it is the responsibility of the student residence managers to ensure that fire alarms were operational, students have a duty to themselves to make sure all the fire alarms in their apartments are fully functional.
Mr Ó Deá also warned students against tampering with the fire alarms in the student residences. “There have been issues this year with people taking the fire alarms apart on campus, and we would also advise students against doing that.”
The SU President intends to raise his concerns regarding the fire alarms and the possibility that students may be using cooking equipment that is prohibited with university authorities in the coming weeks.
This is not the first incident of serious fires in Belgrove. Substantial damage was caused to two Belgrove apartments in separate incidents during the 2004/2005 academic year. Although there were no injuries reported, both apartments required significant refurbishment after the fires.