Machinery, worth hundreds of thousands of euros, has been destroyed in a major fire at a contractor’s yard in Co. Roscommon.

The blaze broke out in the sheds of Pat Lavin Plant Hire, an agricultural contracting business, located in Mullen, just outside Roscommon, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Gardai from Castlerea; and fire brigades from Boyle and Ballaghaderreen; battled the blaze through the night – from approximately 1:00am until 8:00am on Sunday morning.

A man was brought to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation and burns from trying to save the machinery from the flames.

However, the man has since been discharged.

It is understood that five New Holland tractors, a silage baler and other machinery were destroyed in the fire.

Gardai are investigating the cause of the blaze; however, it is believed that is was not started maliciously.

Useful tips to help prevent fires

According to the Health and Safety Authority, the safest way to deal with fire is to prevent it. Here are some useful tips to reduce the risk of your tractor or machinery catching fire.

  • Keep machinery clean and free of combustible materials, particularly engine compartments where machinery fires often start.
  • Make certain exhaust systems including manifolds, mufflers and turbochargers, are free of leaks and in good working order.
  • Follow instructions when installing and operating farm machinery and follow maintenance schedules.
  • Replace worn electrical components, bearings, belts or chains.
  • Keep appropriate fully charged fire extinguishers on tractors, combines, and near all farm machinery.
  • Welders and cutting torches should only be used in clean areas at least 35 feet away from any flammable and combustible materials. Welding curtains should be used.
  • Store vehicles and machinery, which present special hazards, in buildings separate from those used for other purposes.