Blaze block is finally safe
A block of flats destroyed by a devastating blaze in Callander has finally been deemed safe.
The residents in Victoria Court were forced out after fire took hold and destroyed several properties, including Ciro’s Italian restaurant.
Safety fears over the stability of the building’s chimney were raised and Stirling Council decided not to allow residents to return because of the safety concerns.
The pavement below on Main Street has been fenced off to the public since then.
Stirling Council housing convener Councillor Evelyn Tweed said an engineer appointed by the council on behalf of the residents had confirmed that the chimney no longer presented a danger to the public.
She added: “We understand that residents are now liaising with their insurance companies so that they can return to their property.”
The fire ripped through the block on Thursday, May 25, causing the collapse of the roof on the top floor flat, while the restaurant below suffered extensive smoke and water damage.
Families living in the properties were forced out of their homes.
Among them were topfloor flat occupiers Deborah O’Hara and her husband Gerry who lost all their possessions.
Trossachs and Teith councillor Martin Earl said steps now had to be taken to re-open the pathway beneath the properties on Callander Main Street.
He added: “This has taken far too long to get sorted out. I know it’s complicated when there are multiple owners and insurance companies and I know the council have been involved.
“However, I have been asking the council to step in sooner to get this progressed more quickly.
“Neighbouring property owners have been prevented from accessing their homes for weeks and the fencing erected on behalf of the council is downright dangerous given the configuration of the kerb.
“I’m pleased we are finally getting somewhere but the pathway needs to be at least partially opened now.”
Fire The restaurant and flats were severely damaged