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Cork shopping centre reopens its doors for first time since major blaze last year

Dozens of cars were destroyed by the fire at Douglas Shopping Centre on 1 September 2019.

The scene of the blaze
The scene of the blaze
Image: Cork City Fire Brigade via Twitter

A SHOPPING CENTRE in Cork which was badly damaged by a fire last year has reopened its doors for the first time since the incident. 

Dozens of cars were destroyed by the fire at Douglas Shopping Centre in the city on 1 September 2019. 

There were no casualties or injuries in the huge blaze, which started when one vehicle in the car park caught fire.

The fire was contained to one section of the centre’s multi-storey car park, but a large number of parked vehicles were damaged or destroyed and a significant amount of damage was also caused to the building.

The shopping centre is reopening for the first time since the incident today.  

“We’re very excited and we’re full of emotion,” Bartosz Mieszala, the centre’s manager, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland. 

Tesco was the first store in the centre to open its doors yesterday morning at 8am. Marks & Spencer opened at 9am. 

A number of other essential shops also reopened, including two pharmacies and three coffee shops for takeaway. 

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Mieszala said the centre had a target of reopening at the end of August, but the project was delayed after construction was halted due to Covid-19 restrictions.

He said that no businesses were lost as a result of the fire, but added that some have been compromised by the pandemic and may or may not return. 

Miezala added that there has been no discussions yet about extended opening hours over the Christmas period, but added that the option will be discussed. 

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