Blaze block is fi­nally safe

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Marzella

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

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