Four families had to be evacuated from their homes in a terrifying arson attack at O’Brien Street in the early hours of last Saturday morning.
Electricity and gas supply to the street also had to be cut off after the blaze ruptured a gas main.
Gardai were alerted to the scene shortly before 4am, following reports that a car parked on the street had been set on fire.
The fire quickly spread to an adjacent parked car and, following the explosion of the petrol tank on the second car, several houses on the street caught fire.
Numbers 3 to 7 on the street were evacuated by Fire Service personnel. The occupants of Number 4, including a grandfather, his daughter and grandson, were forced to escape through the rear garden, after the force of the explosion caused the front door and window of their house to blow in.
O’Brien Street was quickly sealed off by Gardaí as units from Waterford City Fire Service got to work tackling the blaze. Bord Gais were called to the scene to switch off gas supply to the area as the blaze had ruptured a gas main. An ESB crew was also called out to cut off supply, amidst safety concerns.
Extensive fire and smoke damage was caused to three houses on the street, as well as the two cars. Thankfully nobody was injured in the blaze.
Gardai are seeking information or witnesses from anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious around the O’Brien Street area at the time.
A Garda spokesperson confirmed that the cause of the fire is being treated as ‘suspicious’ but said a motive for the attack had not yet been established.