Blaze rips through in­door mar­ket and gym

More than 60 fire­fight­ers tackle huge fire

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - PETER JOHN MEIKLEM pmeik­lem@the­courier.co.uk

Fire crews bat­tled a third ma­jor blaze in Dundee in as many nights as flames ripped through the Hill­town In­door Mar­ket and Fit 4 Less gym yes­ter­day.

More than 60 fire­fight­ers and nine ap­pli­ances raced to the scene af­ter the alarm was raised around 6pm.

Flames were seen leap­ing into the air and plumes of black smoke bil­lowed across the city sky­line for the third night in a row.

Brian Hickman, 65, rushed into the build­ing af­ter see­ing the smoke to warn his wife Vanessa and the rest of her ex­er­cise class that a se­ri­ous fire was about to en­gulf the build­ing.

Af­ter first be­ing told there was “no need to evac­u­ate” he in­ter­rupted the gym class just as the lights failed and the alarm sounded.

“I told the girl be­hind the front desk and she said she had been told it was noth­ing se­ri­ous. I said I had to find my wife and went into the gym. I could smell smoke and I didn’t know where I was go­ing,” he said.

“When I went in they said what’s hap­pen­ing and I said there’s a fire you have to get out. With that the siren went out and there were no lights or any­thing.

“Peo­ple were us­ing their phones for light. Ev­ery­body got out and I was one of the last peo­ple to leave the build­ing.”

It is be­lieved the fire be­gan when an old two-seater couch was set on fire next to the build­ing.

Mr Hickman said he saw “four boys, typ­i­cal youth of to­day in hood­ies with their hands in their pock­ets” go round the corner just min­utes be­fore the blaze broke out.

Around 15 peo­ple fled the ex­er­cise class, along with sev­eral more who had been us­ing other parts of the gym.

Kerri Tay­lor, 31, was work­ing in the Snug Bar across the road and called the emer­gency ser­vices when she saw “black smoke com­ing from what looked like a two-seater couch”.

“The fire spread through the build­ing in about 10 min­utes, I think,” she said. “Of course it was fright­en­ing. We saw the smoke and everyone knew that it was go­ing right through to the gym.”

Corinne Thain, 32, a sup­port worker, was trapped in the Snug Bar, un­able to go home as her car was parked in front of the build­ing and her keys were left in­side the gym in the rush to flee the fire.

“I’m a sin­gle mum and I can’t get home. I’m gut­ted and I’ve been sat here cry­ing,” she said.

Pic­tures: Steve Macdougall.

Above and right: fire crews on the scene tack­ling the huge fire at the Hill­town In­door Mar­ket and Fit 4 Less gym last night.

Pic­tures: Tam Harkin and Steve Macdougall.

Above: an aerial view of the fire as it tears through the Hill­town In­door Mar­ket. Be­low left: peo­ple gather to take a look and right, smoke and flames bil­low into the Dundee air.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.