Gardai ‘open minded’ on Bridgend fire

Firefighters from Buncrana and Letterkenny discuss tactics at Bridgend on Tuesday morning after a fire broke ouit at the Blackthorn Amusement Arcade. 0403JM03
Firefighters from Buncrana and Letterkenny discuss tactics at Bridgend on Tuesday morning after a fire broke ouit at the Blackthorn Amusement Arcade. 0403JM03

Yesterday Senior Gardai in Buncrana confirmed they are keeping an open mind as to the cause of a fire at a well known amusement arcade in Inishowen.

Gardai and the Fire service arrived at the scene of Blackthorn Amusements in Bridgend shortly after 6.20am on Tuesday morning.

After a long battle to control the flames, an investigation has now begun by the Gardai and Fire forensic teams into the cause of the fire. It is thought the fire broke out on the first floor of the amusements.

Supt English told the ‘Journal’ yesterday he had been speaking with a number of eye witnesses in relation to the fire, but had not been speaking with the owner, Colm O’Donnell, since the fire broke out on Tuesday.

“It is our job to investigate how the fire started, and we will continue to do that for the time being.”

Supt Kevin English said the scene had now been preserved, but felt there was no indication as yet to the cause of the fire.

“The crime scene investigators are still at the scene in Bridgend and we expect them to be a very advanced stage now.”

Acting Chief Fire Officer for Donegal, Bobby McMenamin told the ‘Journal’ fire engines from four different stations were deployed immediately on the scene to get the blaze under control.

“The Derry team were first on the scene, followed by Buncrana. Engines from Strabane and Letterkenny werealso needed on the scene.

“When we arrived the fire was coming out of the roof of the building, the first floor had been completely destroyed at that stage. The ground floor of the building has also serious water damage.

Mr McMenamin said once they had completed their task they handed over to the Gardai’s Forensic team to continue their investigation.

The investigation was still ongoing at the time of going to press.