Investigation after Rennie Road blaze

FT Rennie Street Fire 12/05/2018
FT Rennie Street Fire 12/05/2018

An investigation is under way following a major fire at a block of flats in Kilsyth last weekend.

Just after midnight on Sunday, May 6, residents of 14-22 Rennie Road were evacuated when the alarms went off after a blaze started in an upstairs flat.

Appliances from Kilsyth, Cumbernauld, Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and Springburn all attended the incident to but out the fire.

One resident said: “We were up late watching a DVD as it was the bank holiday weekend when the fire alarms went off.

“The emergency services response was fantastic, they were on the scene in minutes and had they not been who knows what would have happened.

“The fire was so fierce it was threatening to spread to the neighbouring buildings, but thankfully that was prevented from happening.”

There were no major injuries, but residents were still left counting the cost as three flats were smoke damaged, one fire damaged and two water damaged.

They are being housed in temporary accommodation while North Lanarkshire Council looks into the structural integrity of the building and what repairs will need to be carried out.

Stephen Llewellyn, head of housing solutions, said: “Following a serious fire at Rennie Road, major structural and internal damage has affected a number of properties.

“We are assisting Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service with their investigations.

“Several households in the block have been displaced by the damage. Temporary accommodation has been offered to all residents affected while some have chosen to move in with relatives in the short term. The needs of those people displaced is our priority and we will continue working with them to find the best interim solution to their housing needs.

“Our buildings safety and insurance teams are currently assessing the repair work required to the building.”

It is thought the fire may have been started deliberately and Coatbridge CID is looking into the matter.

The council’s handling of the situation on the night of the fire has been criticised for not being pro-active enough.

One resident said: “The emergency services were there from about 12.30am, yet it took the council until 4.30am to turn up.

“You had terrified children who had been dragged from their beds and at that stage we were offered no help at all. If it hadn’t been a for a neighbour taking us in I don’t know what we’d have done.”

This was denied by Mr Llewellyn, who said: “We were notified by the police about the incident at 2.45am and were on site by 3.20am.”