Downpour brings chaos to Greenock

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Firefighters from Greenock and the surrounding area worked furiously to protect people and property in Greenock this evening (Thursday 25th July) as the town was subjected to a short but dramatic downpour.

Flooding was the most widespread problem as numerous properties and the road network itself were threatened by rapidly rising water levels.

The first call for assistance was received at 5:51pm, when a car became trapped in flood water on Brougham Street. As crews from Greenock’s Community Fire Station pushed the vehicle and driver to safety, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) control room for the West, located at Johnstone, received its own flood of emergency telephone calls. In total, 23 individual calls were taken within the Greenock area related to flooding, with fire crews responding to further requests for assistance from members of the public as they moved from one incident to the next.

The rainstorm had not yet dealt its heaviest blow however, and shortly after 6pm, control room operators received 27 separate calls from members of the public reporting that a building on Campbell Street, Greenock, had apparently been struck by lightning and was on fire.

Appliances from Greenock and Port Glasgow were immediately dispatched, with appliances from Clydebank, and Gourock providing further assistance. Firefighters wearing Breathing Apparatus entered the building and 14 people were evacuated to a place of safety as the fire was brought under control.

The final call for flooding was received around 8:15 this evening as the storm passed and flood waters receded. 

Group Manager Roddie Keith of the SFRS was on scene at Greenock this evening and said, “I am very proud of the response from our fire crews and control room operators this evening."

“The speed with which calls were being received at our control room was challenging to say the least, however our control room staff remained calm and followed well-rehearsed procedures to deal with spate conditions, ensuring that every call was handled appropriately and that fire crews were dispatched quickly and efficiently to assist the community."

“Our operational crews from Greenock, Port Glasgow and the surrounding area were fantastic and worked hard to provide much needed assistance, moving from one incident to the next without stopping for breath.”

“To have a significant fire in the town at the same time as multiple flooding incidents was unusual, but proved that the SFRS provides the communities of Scotland with a robust and resilient operational response, even in the most challenging of circumstances”