07 October 2014

Two people were taken to hospital following a fire at a block of flats in Glasgow’s Southside last weekend.

Ten firefighters from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service used breathing apparatus to work inside the three storey building after flames spread from a bin cupboard to one of the flats.

“Operations Control at Johnstone provided fire survival guidance to occupiers who were trapped inside properties by thick smoke and helped direct search and rescue teams to their locations within the building,” said SFRS..

“Firefighters reached everyone inside and remained with them to provide reassurance as the flames were extinguished using two high pressure water jets.”

Once outside the building all residents received precautionary check-ups from ambulance service personnel. A man and woman who had underlying health issues were taken to the Victoria Infirmary for further assessment.

Group Manager Owen Hanratty, the senior officer at the scene, said: “Being unable to leave as smoke seeps into a property is an extremely frightening experience and clearly one that would cause significant distress.

“Our personnel at Operations Control remained on the phone with those inside the flats to provide vital advice as firefighters conducted a systematic search of the building.

“After extinguishing the flames our crews ventilated the building before leading all residents to safety.”

The SFRS resources sent to the scene included two appliances from Polmadie and Calton community fire stations as well as two aerial rescue pumps from Polmadie and Maryhill.

A specialist rope rescue team was also sent from East Kilbride, with its firefighters conducting cutting away operations on the outside of the building.

Group Manager Hanratty added: “Fires within closes are extremely serious and the toxic smoke they produce can enter properties some distance from the flames.

“Our message to everyone is to help reduce the risk by making sure communal areas, landings and stairwells are always kept clear of items that could be involved in a fire or that could impede people’s escape.

“If a fire does strike then early warning can be the difference between life and death, so please make sure your property is protected by working smoke alarms.”

In a bid to remove potential fire hazards, commercial buildings and non-domestic premises in Scotland are already forced to carry out a fire safety risk assessment under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, in conjunction with the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the enforcing authority has the power to prosecute the Dutyholder.

Original source

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service