West of Scotland fires in early 2011

20 Apr 2011

Fire safety plans were “systematically and seriously defective” at the Lanarkshire residential care home where 14 residents died in a blaze on January 31st, 2004, an inquiry has found.

In a written judgement following a 141-day inquiry into the Rosepark tragedy, Sherriff Principal Brian Lockhart said that the deaths could have been prevented had a proper fire risk assessment been carried out.

He ruled that the fire was caused by an electrical box that had not been properly maintained, concluding that “some or all” of those who perished could have been saved if a proper fire safety plan was in place.

Sheriff Lockhart criticised the owners of the care home for failing to take responsibility over fire safety.

“The deficiencies in the management of fire safety at Rosepark contributed to the deaths,” he said.

“It is to be hoped that residents and potential residents of private care homes will be reassured by the very substantial developments which have taken place in respect of fire safety since the Rosepark fire.”

Residential and nursing homes, rehabilitation premises and care homes (as defined by the Care Standards Act) are all required to ensure that staff are trained to prevent or limit the risk of fire, as well as recognizing and neutralising potential fire hazards. Read more

16 April 2011

Police are treating a fire which extensively damaged a church in West Dunbartonshire as suspicious.

Emergency services were called to St Ronan’s Parish Church in Bonhill, Alexandria, after residents noticed flames coming from the building at about 0130 BST.

Strathclyde Police said it appeared to be a deliberate act of fire-raising.

It is thought the blaze was started at a rear fire door, causing widespread damage to the flooring and roof area.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue brought the fire under control and no-one was injured in the incident. Read more

Glasgow Gallowgate fire closes city centre roads

Several roads in Glasgow city centre remain closed as firefighters tackle the remains of a major blaze close to The Barras market.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue was called to the incident, at a row of shops on Gallowgate, at 2230 GMT on Thursday.

The fire was brought under control by four appliances and more than 60 officers who worked through the night.

Dozens of firefighters are still tackling “pockets of fire” across several buildings.

The operation was scaled down at 0600 GMT, but 25 firefighters and four appliances are still at the scene.

The fire service said “a considerable amount of damage” had been caused by the blaze, which broke out the back of the row of two-storey shops.

‘Sheer tenacity’

The front wall of one of the shops has partially collapsed.

It is thought that the total area affected by the blaze covers about 100m (328ft) by 50m (164ft).

A fire service spokesman said: “The firefighters were met with difficult and dangerous conditions.

“Due to their sheer tenacity and courage, they brought the blaze, which involved the basement and ground floor of the two-storey building, with a partial collapse of the front of the building, under control.”

Several surrounding roads are likely to remain closed until at least midday.

Glasgow City Council said Gallowgate was closed eastbound between Glasgow Cross and Moir Street. read more

9 February 2011


Five rescued after Glasgow restaurant fire

A family of five, including a young child, were rescued from a top floor flat after a fire in a restaurant below their home in Glasgow city centre.

It took 11 engines and 70 firefighters to bring the blaze, at The Steak and Cherry restaurant on Sauchiehall Street, under control.

The fire started at about 2300 GMT on Tuesday in the kitchen area, spreading quickly to the upper floors and roof.

Those rescued were taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary as a precaution.

They were later discharged.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service said the first crews to the scene had been faced with a “rapidly developing fire involving the restaurant itself and spreading to occupied residential tenement flats above”.

Due to the construction of these property types, hidden fire spread via enclosed voids and spaces, and they are notoriously difficult and dangerous for crew to tackle” he said.

“These initial crews had to deal simultaneously with the original fire, its spread to the upper floors and more immediately, a family trapped by smoke in their top floor flat.”

Two males, two females and a child were rescued by firefighters using fire service ladders.

Area commander Garry Milne commended the firefighters involved describing it as a “textbook ladder rescue”.

Premises and flats on either side of the affected part of the building were evacuated as a precautionary measure. read more

Three people die in fire at Glasgow flats

Three people have died in fire at a block of flats in the north of Glasgow.

Firefighters were called to the fifth-floor flat in Acre Road in the Maryhill area of the city at about 2340 GMT on Friday.

The three people – believed to be a couple and their adult son – were taken from the flat suffering from severe smoke inhalation.

They received first aid from firefighters but died on the way to hospital.

Firefighters said they believed the fire, which started in a bedroom, was a “tragic accident” caused by a cigarette.

Jim Doyles, head of operations at Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, said: “Three casualties were removed and the crews were attempting desperately to try and resuscitate them.

“Obviously investigations are still ongoing. There was a lot of smoke inside but to be honest, why they couldn’t get out at this stage would be speculation.”

He added: “We will wait on the full inquiry.”

The latest incident follows a series of house fires in the Strathclyde area.

Earlier this month, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue’s chief officer Brian Sweeney said a 10-day period over Christmas had seen an “unprecedented level of tragedy” with five deaths and hundreds of homes destroyed by fire.

He said firefighters had dealt with the highest number of incidents for 10 years with 68 injuries and 250 homes destroyed during the period.

One person killed in Port Glasgow house blaze

One person has died following a fire at a house in Port Glasgow, Inverlcyde.

Emergency services were called to the property in Bute Avenue at about 0310 GMT on Monday.

Search and rescue teams discovered a body after the fire was put out. At the height of the blaze, a total of 20 firefighters were involved.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. A joint investigation has been launched by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and Strathclyde Police. read more

Alcohol blamed for Strathclyde fire tragedies

Alcohol is being blamed for an “unprecedented level” of fire tragedies in Scotland over the festive period.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service chief officer, Brian Sweeney, said fatalities and casualties across his area were at a 10-year high.

Since Christmas, his crews have put out almost 250 house fires, which injured 68 people, and killed five others.

He said smoking, cooking and heating were factors but “alcohol” was the main reason why people lost their lives.

Mr Sweeney was speaking at a news conference in Glasgow following a spate of fatal house fires across Strathclyde during the festive period.

‘Greatest crisis’

He said: “Our focus today is a festive season, particularly over the last 10 days, which has caused an unprecedented level of tragedy and misery across our communities.

“During the seasonal period the problem is alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. We fundamentally need to change our relationship with alcohol.

“In my opinion, for example, the economic crisis is not the greatest crisis facing Scotland at the moment.

“The greatest crisis facing Scotland is our dependency on alcohol, our consumption of alcohol – it’s binge drinking and being under the influence of alcohol.”

Mr Sweeney said he wanted to see Scotland change its relationship with alcohol in the same way it had changed its relationship with smoking in public places.

Kevin Wemyss, 29, was rescued by firefighters from his fourth-floor flat in Paisley, Renfrewshire, on Thursday. Read more

Five fire deaths in Scotland since start of 2011

Five people have died in house fires in Scotland in the first four days of the new year – with six deaths in total since Christmas.

The latest tragedy claimed the life of a 68-year-old man at a house in Luss, Argyll and Bute, on Tuesday morning.

Earlier, 79-year-old Berit Mountain, died in hospital after a blaze at her flat in Argyle Park Terrace, Edinburgh.

Fire brigades have reissued appeals for everyone to ensure they have a working smoke detector installed at home.

Fire crews were called to reports of a blaze at a house in Murray Place, Luss, on the west bank of Loch Lomond, at about 1030 GMT on Tuesday.

The fire was extinguished and the elderly man’s body was found inside.

The cause of the fire is being investigated but is not being treated as suspicious.

The blaze in Edinburgh which claimed the life of Ms Mountain was reported after 1700 GMT on Monday.

She was rescued from her flat and treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to the city’s Royal Infirmary.

The pensioner was later transferred to the burns unit at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, where she later died.

Other incidents

Two men and a woman were also taken to hospital with less serious injuries.

The cause of the blaze, which fire crews described as “ferocious” is under investigation.

In other incidents, a 45-year-old man died after a house fire in the Dumbarton area at about 0130 GMT on Monday 3 January.

A man in his 50s died following a fire at a flat in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, at 0100 GMT on Sunday 2 January.

A 53-year-old woman died in a fire in a flat in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, at about 1645 GMT on New Year’s Day.

A 75-year-old man died in a fire at his home in Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire, at 1000 GMT on Monday 27th December.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue urged people to be extremely careful over what remains of the festive holiday and beyond.

He said: “The use of candles and tea lights in the house and increased consumption of alcohol help to increase the risk of fire in the home.”

The service reminded the public that it provides free home fire safety visits.

“We provide advice and guidance about how to reduce the risk of fire within the home and what to do if one takes place – we provide free smoke alarms,” the spokesman added. Read more

Man dies in third Strathclyde flat blaze

A man in his 50s has died following a fire at a flat in North Lanarkshire.

Two Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service crews were called out to the blaze at Muiryhall Street, Coatbridge, at 0100 GMT.

The man was rescued by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and given treatment before being taken to Monklands Hospital where he died.

It is the second fire death in the Strathclyde area during the last 24 hours and the third since last Monday.

A 53-year-old woman died in a fire in a flat in Renfrewshire on New Year’s Day.

And on 27 December an elderly man died in a fire at a ground floor flat in Bangorshill Street, Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire.

Lewis Ramsay, from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, said: “In addition to these tragic incidents, there have been 68 fires involving casualties in Strathclyde since the start of December. Most of these fires have been in flats or houses.

“We would remind people to be extremely careful over what remains of the festive holiday and beyond. The use of candles and tea lights in the house and greater consumption of alcohol help to increase the risk of fire in the home.

“Strathclyde Fire and Rescue is keen to promote our free home safety visits. We provide advice and guidance about how to reduce the risk of fire in the home and what to do if one takes place – we even provide free smoke detectors.” Read more

17 January 2011

Fire at Neilston bus depot costs £500,000

A fire at a bus depot in East Renfrewshire has caused about £500,000 in damage, police have said.

Emergency services were called to Whitestar Coaches, Holehouse Brae, Neilston, at about 2120 GMT on Sunday.

No-one was injured in the blaze which caused extensive damage to the depot.

Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue have launched a joint investigation to establish the cause of the fire. Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them. Read more

With thanks to BBC news

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