An enormous fire rips through the Cavendish Furniture Company and other shops on Dublin's Grafton Street causing damage estimated at one million pounds.

A huge fire has ripped through Grafton Street in Dublin, destroying the Cavendish Furniture Company. The blaze was first noticed at 3:30 am by a policeman on patrol, Detective Garda Jim Murphy of Pearse Street Station.

At the height of the outbreak every available fire brigade unit in the city and county was fighting the fire.

The Cavendish Furniture Company and several small shops and businesses were destroyed by the fire. The owners of some shops came to salvage what they could.

Four hours of intensive fire-fighting save the entire block bounded by Grafton Street, South Anne Street, Duke Lane and Lemon Street from being raised to the ground.

At daybreak, traffic diversion signs were in place and Dublin Corporation workers ensured buildings affected by the fire were safe. 

Throughout the day business owners continued their salvage operations. Cavendish's were fortunate to find their documentation relating to higher purchase agreements survived the blaze.

It is not yet possible to say what caused the fire, but there is nothing to suggest it was started deliberately.

The fire damage to Cavendish's and the other shops on Grafton Street is roughly estimated at one million pounds. The insurance bill for the fire is expected to be one of the biggest ever met in Dublin.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 March 1971. The reporter is Don McManus.