Chimney collapse near miss

RESIDENTS in a Dundalk building had to be evacuated after a chimney collapsed following high winds and stormy conditions.

RESIDENTS in a Dundalk building had to be evacuated after a chimney collapsed following high winds and stormy conditions.

Luckily no-one was injured when part of the redbrick chimney stack crashed to the ground on Friday, February 4 shortly before 9.30am.

Dundalk Town Council and the emergency services quickly moved to take control of the scene by cordoning off part of Roden Place.

Residents, including an Asian couple with a young baby, were evacuated immediately from the row of terraced properties.

A crowd of passers-by and curious onlookers quickly gathered outside the cordoned off area, some taking photographs and video footage on their mobile phones.

According to John Lawrence of Dundalk Town Council (DTC), it was a miracle that no-one was injured in the incident.

“Anyone who saw the amount of debris on the road would agree. Those chimney stacks are considerable structures in themselves,” said Mr Lawrence.

“The property is privately owned but the council moved to close off the road as a precautionary measure while the stucture was assessed by an engineer.”

The structural engineer reported that three of six chimneys were in a dangerous state-of-repair and would have to be demolished.

The partially collapsed chimney and two others will have to be rebuilt using traditional materials as they are protected structures.

A fourth chimney will have to be repointed and repaired. The remaining two chimneys at either end of the terrace have been deemed to be safe.

“We are delighted with the progress. The council has engaged with the owners of the properties and a contractor has been hired to carry out the works,” said Mr Lawrence.

A traffic management system has been put in place until the works are completed. It is hoped the contractor will finish the job by this weekend.

“Initially, we just cordoned off the area and put in place diversions. However, there is a possibility that we will return to two lane traffic shortly, either in a limited capacity or full capacity.”