Demolition work begins after Glasgow tenement collapse


Pollokshields demolition

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Demolition work is being carried out by hand in an attempt to preserve the neighbouring buildings

Demolition work has begun on a 143-year-old building in Glasgow which collapsed in a fire.

The blaze on Albert Drive in Pollokshields destroyed the shop where the fire is thought to have started a week ago, and the flats above it.

More than 40 properties near the four-storey building were evacuated and cordoned off for several days.

Residents of at least 14 flats have still not been allowed back into their homes.

The fire started late last Sunday evening, and the building collapsed about six hours later, destroying the Strawberry and Spice Garden minimarket and two flats.

No one was seriously injured but one man was treated for the effects of breathing in smoke.

An exclusion zone put around the site cut off about 20 flats and more than 20 businesses, including a pharmacy, until Friday.

Nine of the businesses on Albert Drive are still inaccessible.

Glasgow City Council said it had taken control of the site on Friday and would work with demolition experts over the weekend to make the site safe.

The initial demolition work will be done by hand from an elevated platform to try and preserve the surrounding properties, including two jewellers shops.

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More than 20 businesses had to close for several days while the emergency services dealt with the site

Rachel Meach, who lives next to the fire damaged building, said they had been given no word of when they would be able to return home and were expecting a “rough few months”.

She said: “It’s been really hard for everyone.

“The first few days we didn’t even know what state our flat was in which was tough, but we were able to get the chief fire officer to go in and check.”

The firefighter confirmed her family’s possessions had survived the fire and managed to retrieve four years’ work towards Ms Meach’s PhD, along with her daughters’ pet guinea pigs.

“We’re so overwhelmed at the response of our Pollokshields community,” she said. “It’s like none other really.

“Within 24 hours the community, both people we knew and complete strangers, made sure we had a roof over our heads, the kids had uniform, clothes and toys and that we had food and toiletries too.

“The school also raised money for the families affected and got that to us immediately, which was a huge help.”

Local councillor Jon Molyneaux said there had been a “really strong community response” to the fire with people rallying around to support their neighbours.

He said: “There are still people with needs and people who don’t know that the future holds, and the uncertainty is difficult for them.”

The community would need support to recover from the fire he added.

Yasmeen Tanveer, a community councillor and member of Pollokshields Primary School parent council, said they “were full of praise for all of the service providers that had been involved” in the operation, and the community that had donated goods to affected families.

She said they were still trying to trace all the residents of the buildings within the cordon to establish whether they needed help.

The primary school was working with Pollokshields Church of Scotland and Islamic Relief to get clothes, toiletries and food to those who needed it, she added.


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