Tenement building collapses after minimarket fire

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Media captionA tenement building in Glasgow’s southside has collapsed

A four-storey tenement building in Glasgow’s southside has collapsed after a fire spread from a ground floor shop.

The fire caused widespread disruption in the area with road cordons, school closures, power cuts and water supply problems.

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Fire crews worked through the night to tackle the blaze in the building on Albert Cross in Pollokshields.

Residents were evacuated and one person has been treated for the effects of breathin in smoke.

The fire in the 143-year-old B-listed building is now under control but it has destroyed the shop and the homes above it.

It is thought to have started in the minimarket Strawberry and Spice Garden late on Sunday evening.

Albert Drive has been closed to traffic between Shields Road and St Andrews Road and is expected to remain closed for several hours. The area around Albert Cross is also closed to pedestrians.

Glasgow City Council said Pollokshields Primary School on Albert Drive had been closed. School staff have moved to the Tramway arts centre to offer support to pupils and their families.

Pollokshields Early Years Centre on Melville Street, Pollokshields Library and businesses in the immediate area are also shut.

Image copyright Nicola Sturgeon
Image caption First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted a photo of the aftermath of the “devastating” fire

Scottish Water said use of fire hydrants had caused low water pressure and discoloured water in the surrounding streets.

Power supplies were cut off from some properties in the G41 area at 04:00 at the request of the emergency services, but were expected to be restored by midnight, Scottish Power Energy Networks reported.

Offers of help for members of the emergency services and people affected by the fire came from Glasgow Gurdwara on Albert Drive, local churches, staff at the Bank of Scotland and a nearby school, St Albert’s Primary.

Image caption Firefighters are dampening down the remains of the property

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said they had 60 firefighters, nine fire appliances and two height appliances tackling the fire during the night.

Twenty firefighters remain at the scene for an “extensive dampening down operation”.

“The fire had initially taken hold within a commercial premise and thereafter affected a number of dwelling flats above,” she said.

“Crews worked through the night to surround and contain the fire which, due to its severity, caused a partial collapse of the building.”

Incident Commander James McNeil added: “This has undoubtedly been a challenging and protracted incident that required considerable resources to meet.”

Insp Mags Brennan, who is leading the police response, said: “While we appreciate the disruption to the local community, road closures are in place for safety reasons and will remain there for the foreseeable.

“While our partners are confident that there are no casualties, a joint investigation into the cause of the fire is under way with the fire service and further updates will be provided when available.”

Actor Tom Urie, who plays Gordie Gemmel in the BBC drama Guilt, witnessed the blaze and described the firefighters’ actions as “astonishing bravery”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who represents the area in the Scottish Parliament, described it as “dreadful news” for affected residents and businesses and urged constituents who need help to email or call her office.

After visiting the scene she offered her “heartfelt” thanks to emergency service workers.

“This is a dark day for Pollokshields and everyone affected is in my thoughts,” she told the BBC.

“While the first priority is help for those directly affected, the location of this fire makes it a blow to the whole community. But Pollokshields is a strong community and I know everyone will rally round.”

Image caption Nicola Sturgeon visited the scene of the fire

Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s justice minister, also tweeted his thanks to the fire service for dealing with the “very dangerous” incident in the “heart of the community”.

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