Four people were taken to hospital after a fire at a block of flats in the north of Glasgow on Wednesday night (29 July).
Two others received check-ups from paramedics at the scene of the incident, which happened at Skirsa Place and saw a 999 call made to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) around 11:50pm.
The caller reported seeing the door to the close on fire and two appliances from Maryhill Community Fire Station reached the scene within six minutes of being mobilised.
Firefighters in breathing apparatus used a high pressure jet to quickly put out the fire. The SFRS crews then moved to assist people in the four-storey building.
Two women, two teenage girls, a teenage boy and an infant boy appeared to be suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke and received attention from paramedics and firefighters at the scene.
Four of the casualties were then taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. SFRS crews left the incident around 12:50am (Thursday 30 July).
The fire is thought to have been deliberately started and Police Scotland officers attended the scene.
Group Manager John McGarvey, the SFRS head of prevention and protection for the city, said people involved in starting fires need to know their actions could cost lives.
He explained: “Setting fires is incredibly dangerous, criminal behaviour and those who are responsible just can’t predict how the fire will develop or how it will affect people.
“They don’t know where the smoke will travel or how quickly it will threaten homes, they don’t know if the flames will spread or if dealing with a needless incident will prevent firefighters being sent to another emergency.
“Deliberate fire-setting is a serious crime that threatens lives. It’s something no-one should ever accept happening in their community and I would urge anyone with information on those involved to help prevent a tragedy by sharing it with the police.”
Anyone with information on people who set fires should contact police via the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, they should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.
A fire in a communal close will quickly spread smoke throughout a building, blocking people’s exit route and leaving residents trapped in their flats.
Even a small bag of rubbish can create enough smoke to fill a close so residents of flats are urged to make sure items like household rubbish, old furniture and unwanted items are never kept on landings or stairs.
Group Manager McGarvey added: “If there is a fire in the close people need to keep their doors closed to prevent smoke entering their home and they should immediately call 999.
“By ensuring their home is protected by working smoke alarms they will get early warning of the danger and that’s absolutely to preventing injuries or deaths.
“Early warning gives firefighters time to get to an incident and to quickly bring it under control, reducing the chance that smoke, heat and flames will cause serious a tragedy or result in the loss of cherished possessions.
“No-one can ever afford to think fire won’t happen to us or go without these life-saving devices and we want to hear from anyone who thinks they could benefit from our help to ensure their home is protected.”
Advice on how to keep communal closes clear and what to do if a fire does start is available on the SFRS website at www.firescotland.gov.uk/media/706798/common_stairs_posterflyer_generic.pdf.
Free home fire safety visits are available from SFRS by calling the freephone number 0800 0731 999, texting ‘check’ to 61611, or filling out a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.
A popular part of the Join Scotland’s Fight Against Fire campaign, the short visits are conducted by local crews and arranged for a time convenient for the householder.
The firefighters help residents identify and address common hazards many people are unaware of, develop a simple fire action plan so they know what to do in an emergency, and even install free smoke alarms where these are needed.