Hundreds of thousands of euro worth of life-saving equipment, owned by the Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club, is under threat tonight following the outbreak of a fire at its clubhouse in Lanesboro just before 8:30pm yesterday evening.
A local who was walking in the area at the time noticed puffs of smoke emerging from under the doors of the clubhouse and immediately alerted local gardaí to the situation. He said that within minutes of reporting the incident, two units of Ballymahon Fire Services arrived at the scene and members battled for over an hour to bring the blaze under control.
Locals who gathered in the area were aghast at the scene before them, with one observer admitting that “€300,000 worth of life saving equipment is now at stake”.
Gardaí from Longford town and Lanesboro are currently at the scene where they are directing traffic. A forensic investigation to establish the cause of the fire will take place in the coming days.
Local area representative, Cllr Mark Casey, who was at the scene, admitted that while the incident was “a tragedy”, it was not believed – at this stage – that the fire was started maliciously.