More than 25 people will be out of work after a family pub business in Athy burnt to the ground last week.
Athy and Monastervin Fire Service were called to a blaze in the landmark Immigrant Pub on Emily Square at 6.34am on Wednesday last, August 24.
Two fire engines, two water tankers and 25 firefighters attacked the blaze.
“We dealt with the fire on the ground floor and we brought it under control very quickly. As a precautionary measure the two buildings either side of the Immigrant were evacuated. There were no injuries,” according to fire officer Ben Woodhouse.
Speaking to the Leinster Leader, pub owner and father-of-four Mark Redmond was devastated.
“We have no idea how it started. The alarm bells rang at 6.30am and the front and back of the bar was full of smoke. We don’t think it was malicious, there was no break-in. My business, my family’s livelihood has gone up in smoke.”
Mr Redmond is assessing the damage now and is in contact with his insurance company to build the pub back up.
“We need to assess it now and agree a price with the insurance company. I hope to build it up from scratch again. More than 25 jobs will be on hold. Furniture, tills, walls, floors, all destroyed, everything burnt. The fire service and gardai were very professional and thorough. We would like to give them a big thank you. A least no one was hurt. It is a big upset for me personally especially in the current climate and it is a very sad day for local business in the town.”
All entertainment planned and booked will now be transferred to the nearby CI Bar.
Athy gardai are invesigating the incident. “There is nothing to suggest any criminal activity. Investigations are contuining and we are appealing for witnesses to contact the station,” said Sgt Tom Harte.