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08.17 22 Dec 2017


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An investigation is to get underway after a fire at the Haulbowline naval base in Cork last night.

The blaze broke out in a disused building near the officers' mess shortly after 8.30pm.

There were no injuries and the fire was contained to the old operations building.

The surrounding area was evacuated as a precaution during the blaze.

An investigation is likely to be carried out by the Defence Forces with assistance from external experts.

Ralph Riegel, Southern Correspondent with the Irish Independent, says this is the second such fire on the base in the last decade.

He explained: "There was another similar fire in an old warehouse building. Now, these buildings date back almost 100 years to the time when the Royal Navy was using Haulbowline as a major Atlantic base."

Last night's blaze created dramatic images for people in Cobh looking across the harbour.

Mr Riegel observed: "The flames were coming through the roof of this warehouse.

"Because the entire navy fleet operates from Haulbowline Island, there's quite an amount of bunkerage or oil tanks on Haulbowline to refuel these patrol vessels.

"It was an optical illusion - it looked to people in Cobh as if this fire was actually close to the oil tanks. In actual fact, it wasn't."


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