A fire at a block of flats in Glasgow’s Southside on Monday evening (27 July) resulted in a man being taken to hospital.
The incident in Kilmuir Crescent saw the city’s Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) team call on residents to make sure landings and stairwells are kept clear and their homes protected by working smoke alarms.
Crews from Pollok and Clarkston community fire stations were sent to the four-storey building in response to a 999 call made shortly after 5:10pm.
The firefighters used a single hosereel jet to extinguish the flames, which were situated in the ground floor of the close, and requested an ambulance attend for a man who appeared to have sustained slight smoke inhalation.
After being assessed by paramedics he was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for a precautionary check-up.
Group Manager John McGarvey, the SFRS head of prevention and protection for the City of Glasgow area, said: “Even the smallest of fires produces toxic smoke that threatens lives.
“In a confined space like a close the danger is increased because it will very quickly travel, affecting all flats on the floors above.”
By blocking people’s exit route smoke from a fire in a close can leave residents trapped in their homes with no way to escape.
Firefighters want people to take simple steps to reduce the chance it will happen in their building and so help protect themselves, their neighbours and their communities.
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.
Group Manager McGarvey explained: “Many fires in closes are started deliberately and leaving items like rubbish or unwanted household appliances and furniture can attract the irresponsible minority involved in this reckless, criminal behaviour.
“Items in a close can fuel a fire and produce extremely thick levels of smoke that pose a serious threat to life, but even if they aren’t involved in the fire itself they still endanger people by impeding their escape.
“By making sure nothing is ever left on a landing or the stairs people can make a serious incident much less likely.”
Thinking fire will only happen to other people is a potentially lethal trap and firefighters are clear on the need for everyone to ensure their home is protected by working smoke alarms.
Group Manager McGarvey added: “Even if you’ve taken every precaution a fire can start as a result of something completely beyond your control.
“A fire nearby, such as in a close or a neighbouring property, can cause a home to fill with smoke so it’s absolutely essential that everyone would get early warning of the danger.
“Working smoke alarms buy people vital time to get to safety and to call 999. That often gives firefighters the chance not only to rescue people, but also to prevent the destruction of homes and the loss of treasured possessions.”
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.
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.