Lo­cals rally round to help fire-hit fam­i­lies

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY JACK AITCHI­SON

THE Pol­lok­shields com­mu­nity is to cel­e­brate the “good­will” of it’s lo­cals amid claims up to 35 fam­i­lies are still dis­placed fol­low­ing the Al­bert Drive fire one week on.

The cor­ner sec­tion of the three­storey ten­e­ment col­lapsed as a re­sult of a fire where the road meets Ken­mure Street.

At the height of the blaze, which is thought to have started in the Spice Gar­den shop at about 11.30pm on Sun­day, Novem­ber 10, around 60 fire­fight­ers, nine ap­pli­ances and two height ap­pli­ances were sent to the area.

One per­son was taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter suf­fer­ing the ef­fects of breath­ing in smoke.

Now, a week on from the blaze, com­mu­nity ac­tivists are prais­ing the work of the emer­gency ser­vices as they rally round the es­ti­mated 35 fam­i­lies still dis­placed.

A coun­cil spokes­woman said “three ad­dresses” were still af­fected but re-homing ef­forts were con­tin­u­ing over the week­end.

Ameen Mo­hammed, chair­man of Pol­lok­shields Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, told the Evening Times: “Af­ter the ter­ri­ble fire we were among many groups that took in­ter­est in sup­port­ing those dis­placed. We be­lieve there are up to 35 fam­i­lies still dis­placed due to the fire – and this is a very di­verse com­mu­nity with unique re­quire­ments.

“Some of these res­i­dents might by­pass the reg­u­lar first line ser­vices, so as a con­se­quence of that we want to make sure peo­ple are get­ting the right help.”

At 6.30pm this evening, lo­cals are gath­er­ing at the com­mu­nity cen­tre on Ken­mure Street for an I Love Pol­lok­shields event.

It’s hoped peo­ple will join to con­sider a co-op­er­a­tive re­sponse to the fire and dis­cuss how to help.

Ameen says the event is “to bring back a bit of cheer and cel­e­brate the good­will of peo­ple dur­ing this ter­ri­ble time”, adding “there’s been a lot of bad news re­cently so we want to share some pos­i­tiv­ity within the com­mu­nity.”

He con­tin­ued: “There has been a fan­tas­tic help so far, peo­ple are tak­ing oth­ers they barely know into their homes.

“You don’t re­alise how bad it is un­til you re­alise who is dis­placed – one of our own com­mu­nity coun­cil mem­bers has been dis­placed and I didn’t even know that un­til way af­ter the fire.

“It’s just been very dif­fi­cult iden­tify who needs help.

“It’ also very dif­fi­cult be­cause for some peo­ple dis­placed English is not their first lan­guage, so com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the emer­gency ser­vices isn’t go­ing to be easy.”

De­spite the com­mu­ni­ca­tion bar­ri­ers, Ameen stressed the “phe­nom­e­nal job” of the emer­gency ser­vices should be high­lighted, as well as the ef­forts by par­ents and staff at the lo­cal pri­mary schools.

He added: “Ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity is prais­ing the fire ser­vice – they have gone over and be­yond the call of duty.”

You can find out more about the com­mu­nity ef­forts at: www.face­book.com/pol­lok­shields/ to

The col­lapsed build­ing in Al­bert Drive, Pol­lok­shields af­ter the fire

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