Fire rips through kitchen of home
‘An accident waiting to happen’say residents
A fire which ripped through the kitchen of an East Kilbride house on Bonfire Night was “an accident waiting to happen” say angry residents.
Neighbours in Westwood watched in horror as smoke and flames billowed from the ground floor of the Rockhampton Avenue property just before 6.45pm on Sunday evening.
The owner of the adjoining terrace tried to tackle the fire himself, fearing there was someone in the house, after spotting that a light was on.
Three fire engines raced to the scene and the street was closed off while firefighters tackled the blaze.
But the council property, which was partly boarded-up, had been lying empty for a couple of days and no one was injured during the incident.
Neighbours said they have spent months complaining to South Lanarkshire Council about piles of rubbish and other waste strewn all over the property.
The next-door neighbour, who raised the alarm, told the News: “It was Bonfire Night so there was a lot of noise but all of a sudden I heard an almighty crash.
“I didn’t think it was a firework so I looked out the front, didn’t see anything, then looked out the back and saw the flames coming from what looked like the kitchen.
“I noticed a light on upstairs and my first thought was that someone was inside so I grabbed basins of water and went out and tried to tackle it.
“A shutter on a back porch door seems to have been removed and there was a whole load of rubbish inside which was alight.
“I tried my best but I soon realised the flames were out of control and were spreading fast so my wife phoned the emergency services.”
He added: “My main worry was that someone was trapped or the fire would spread to the other properties within the terrace.”
Another neighbour said: “We have been complaining for months to the council about all the rubbish and waste at this house and to be honest we all feared something like this would happen – it was just a matter of time. Thank God no one was hurt, though.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “Operations Control immediately mobilised three fire appliances to the scene at Rockhampton Avenue.
“Firefighters used powerful water jets to extinguish the fire on the ground floor.
“Crews left the scene after ensuring the area was made safe.”
Daniel Lowe, executive director of housing and technical resources, said: “The council is aware of the current condition of the property and garden area and is actively taking steps to address this.
“The fire service were called to the premises to tackle a fire in the kitchen.
“This is the subject of an ongoing investigation since the council had the property secured with metal shutters which were forced off.”
PC Lucie Black from East Kilbride police said the blaze is not being treated as wilful fireraising at this time.
Grim sceneSmokestained walls and charred remains at the back of the property