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Building collapses as fire crews battle major blaze in Glasgow

The flats are part of a new housing development in the Yoker area beside the River Clyde.

Blaze: Building collapses as crews fight fire
© Grant McAulay

A block of flats collapsed as fire crews battled a major blaze at a new housing estate in Glasgow.

The blaze, at Ellerslie Road, at the River Clyde in the Yoker area, was reported at about 4.10pm on Tuesday.

A Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Service spokesman described the blaze at the four-storey building as "substantial" with up to 40 fire fighters at the scene.

The collapsed building was unoccupied but police said residents were evacuated for a few hours as a precaution until the blaze was brought under control. There are no reports of any injuries.

Huge flames and bellowing smoke was seen for miles around at the scene, next to the Renfrew ferry slip road, and close to Dumbarton Road.

A Strathclyde Fire & Rescue spokesman said: "Firefighters from Knightswood and Clydebank Community Fire Stations were mobilised to the scene. On arrival the fire crews were faced with a developing fire in a four storey complex of flats near the River Clyde.

"A total of 40 firefighters from Knightswood, Clydebank, Govan, Yorkhill and Maryhill community fire stations brought the fire under control. Surrounding properties were evacuated with assistance from Strathclyde Police for public safety reasons.

The fire was contained within the construction site with firefighters preventing serious fire spread to nearby flats.
Firefighters remain on the scene to ensure all pockets of fire are fully extinguished.

"The cause of the fire is not yet known. A full investigation is being jointly undertaken by Strathclyde Fire & Rescue and Strathclyde Police."

While residents were unable to return to their homes they were offered shelter at a nearby community centre.

A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said: "The building has collapsed to ground level and police are at the scene closing roads. The building was unoccupied although there are many other homes occupied in the estate, which are being evacuated as a precaution."

Scorched decking

One resident, who lives in a townhouse across from the blaze, described the panic when she saw the scale of the blaze. She said: "As I drove towards it I couldn't believe the size of the flames and I was worried sick for my pets inside the house.

"The place is a mess with scorch marks over our decking and some drain pipes have melted. I had gas canisters in my garden and it is a miracle they didn't explode.

"But we were lucky, it could have been much worse if the wind had been blowing towards us."

She also praised the fire crews and police for their help but said there was much anger from residents that this was allowed to happen in the first place.

The resident added: "Strathclyde Homes have left this building empty for the last 18 months. Vandals targeted the flats before, starting smaller fires, so it was only a matter of time until this happened, if this was started deliberately.

"One police officer told us that they had warned Strathclyde Homes about the risks. So why didn't they do something about it? Apparently security guards on the site don't arrive until later in the day."

The new estate is a mixture of flats, houses and townhouses and is only a few years old. It is part of a major project to revamp the River Clyde.

If you have any information or pictures about the fire please contact the newsdesk on 0141 300 3070 or email stvnews@stv.tv

Video courtesy of Grant McAulay

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