Ask A Broadsheet Reader


The Metro Hotel,  Ballymun on Wednesday night (top) and yesterday afternoon

Philip writes:

I have heard it from a lot of people but nothing official. Can anyone actually confirm that ladders were not long enough to fight the fire at the Metro Hotel in Ballymun the other night?


Previously: 13th Floor

33 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

    1. david

      But your neck is
      The ladders are not long enough confirmed by a spokesman from the fire department yesterday
      Also to get a fire engine with suitable ladders will cost one million euro per unit

    1. dav

      unfortunately, apartments built by the money grabbing developers here, will have sub standard fire safety, so the basic tenant of the fire code is that the fire should be prevented from spreading quickly allowing time for the rescue services to come on scene and fight the fire.

      1. Jimmy Ireland

        Why are you peddling this notion that the fire spread quickly? I was present throughout and the building was completely evacuated before the fire spread beyond a single room, nevermind a floor. There are plenty of quotes from firefighters complimenting the compartmentalisation of the building and the fire, when it did eventually spread, spread via doors and windows left open by the occupants as they evacuated – only so much a developer can do to combat human behaviour and it was all done. Zero casualties, building damaged but intact, but still you seem to absolutely crave an Irish Grenfell to justify your grudge against ‘the man’.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          how did it spread from the 13th to the 10th floor (or something like that), skipping the floors in between?

          (i know this is probably a dead silly question)

          1. ReproBertie

            According to eye witnesses (I’ve not seen an official report yet) debris falling from the 13th set the 10th alight.

        2. dav

          “only so much a developer can do to combat human behaviour” a pity they can’t keep a tighter reign on their own greed

        3. Friscondo

          In fairness, compared to Grenfell, it has to be acknowledged that excellent evacuation plan in place, well designed, and great response from Dublin Fire Brigade. Zero casualties. Begrudgery just for the sake of it is pointless.

        4. david

          You seem very concerned the Pandora box could be opened regarding greedy developers and self regulation
          Are you a developer or some official that gets a back hander
          We had priory hall that thank god did not go on fire
          No building over the height any ladder can reach must be allowed until the fire departments have the equipment to deal with a fire in high rise
          Paddy cannot be trusted

      2. Harryhorse

        Fire compartmentation is typically 1 hour rated, which means the fire door/wall will hold the fire back for an hour. Plenty of time for evacuation. Buildings of 5 stories and higher use a “dry riser” which allows fire fighters pump water up a dry pipe inside the building, to which they can connect their hoses at each floor. This is why ladder height is not so important. Try getting a ladder to the top of liberty hall !!

        1. david

          All fine and well but if this building had a one hour whatever why did the fire spread to full floors? And not just one floor
          I think the fire investigation will indicate this building is below standards
          If you are correct to do such damage in this building it must of been on fire for at least 3 days

  1. dav

    The journal has it
    Apparently Dublin Fire Brigade ladders are cast offs from England, bought in 2006.

    “However SIPTU DFB Convenor Shane McGill told that the two turntable ladders available to the brigade were not of an adequate height if a rescue did have to be attempted.
    If we had to rescue people from windows or balconies, we wouldn’t have been able to reach them. The ladders we have are 33 metres tall, but you can buy ones up to 42 metres. Unfortunately, we haven’t had investment in DFB ladders since 2006. The last unit we bought in December was a nine-year-old cast-off from the UK.”

    1. Jimmy Ireland

      Ladders are not the answer to fighting fires in tall buildings. Once the buildings go over a certain height you can’t get long enough ladders and it becomes less and less safe to use them due to natural sway and vibration. The focus is on effective evacuation and protected stairwells. Something the metro hotel had. The stairwells were not effected by the fire. It was a textbook evacuation from a building that did it’s job structurally to allow sufficient time for the evacuation. Everyone was out long before the fire spread to dangerous levels.

      1. dav

        Hi, I’ll go with what the actual FIREFIGHTER has to say rather than you, okay?

        “McGill says that a risk assessment is needed across Dublin. Particularly as the two high-rise appliances are kept in Tara Street Station. This means that if a fire broke out in a high-rise building in Blanchardstown, Tallaght or Finglas, local crews would not be able to intervene.

        If there’s a fire ladder needed in Blanchardstown or Tallaght at 6pm in the height of traffic, there will be lives lost.

        “We need to look at what we have and what we need urgently. Why don’t we have turntable ladders around the county? Since 1981, there has been no increase in the provision of high reach fire appliances, despite the city having grown considerably since then. We have to keep up with what we’re building.”

      2. david

        The focus is to go through every one of these buildings to ensure they are safe
        And also I these buildings are not fire safe the developers who built them made accountable starting with jailing them
        Liquidating your company then moving on is no defence or way out for escaping conviction for a criminal act
        Your comment is well move on nothing to see

      3. david

        No one is saying this but they are vital for saving lives from people trapped in their rooms
        If people were trapped in their rooms on the higher floors they would of been dead

  2. dubdec99

    Dry risers are one way of fighting fire in a high rise building:
    A dry riser is a normally empty pipe that can be externally connected to a pressurized water source by firefighters. It is a vertical pipe intended to distribute water to multiple levels of a building or structure as a component of the fire suppression systems.

    1. edalicious

      You know, I’ve been seeing “dry riser” written on buildings my entire life and have never even thought to figure out what they actually were.

  3. king Adolf von bratwurst

    I live beside it. it has had a chequered history. remember when the plane nearly landed on it over 10 years ago.

  4. shitferbrains

    So nobody trusts the msm then ? The height of the available ladders and where thy were located was discussed endlessly.

  5. Topsy

    Some individuals who post here are intellectual wizards. Day after day they have an in-depth knowledge on ever subject mentioned. It’s fascinating or perhaps they’re just full of bullpoo.

  6. Matt Lucozade: The Only Reader of the Village

    “Ask a TheJournal.IE Commentator”, surely would be much more entertaining and enlightening than this.

  7. Owen

    No, they didn’t reach the fire and were probably never intended to. The intention is to reach a height deemed safe and power is used to perhaps stretch another few floors. Sure how would they reach a skyscraper?

    Design guidelines (FEDRA) outlines how the building should be designed to prevent fire, support fire fighting, evacuation routes etc. If you recall it was failures in this that resulted in a number of people being left homeless from Longboat Quay.

    Interesting fact: In a number of cities with tall buildings fire crews at now using drones to check floors above the fire for people strangled, preventing the need for crews to fight past the fire to check.

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