Baby and two men taken to hospital after Greenock fire

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Firefighters' "swift and effective" work to knock-down the kitchen fire likely prevented the complete destruction of both the flat and the building's roof.


A baby and two men were taken to hospital following a kitchen fire at a flat in Greenock on Monday evening (14 December).

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews were sent to the incident at a three-storey tenement building in Brachelston Street in response to a 999 call made shortly after 6:05pm.

Operations Control at Johnstone immediately mobilised two appliances from Greenock Community Fire Station and the crews reached the incident within four minutes, with a third appliance – crewed by ‘on call’ firefighters serving on the retained duty system – sent  minutes later.

Group Manager Albert Bruce, the incident commander, said: “This was a slow-burning fire that had spread from the cooker across the worktops and it produced a huge amount of smoke right down to a low level within the flat. 

“Six firefighters went in wearing breathing apparatus and their incredibly swift and effective firefighting operation probably prevented the complete loss of the flat and the roof of the entire building.

“They quickly located the fire within a combined kitchen-living room and immediately attacked it with high pressure jets, which successfully contained and extinguished the flames.”

He continued: “Our teams led people safely from lower floor properties and conducted a systematic search for anyone who may have been in the flats on the top floor, but thankfully everyone there had already left the building.”

Scottish Ambulance Service crews attended the scene and assisted people who had been inside the building at the time of the fire.

A man who was inside the property where the fire struck was treated for the effects of breathing in smoke and taken to Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

On the advice of paramedics a second man, who had been led to safety from a lower floor property, was also taken to hospital after reporting discomfort.

Although not thought to be injured, a newborn baby from a neighbouring property was taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up.

Group Manager Bruce added: “This incident must be a very clear reminder that we all need to act to protect ourselves and those around us.

“Leaving a cooker unattended while it’s in use is a potentially fatal mistake – fire can start in an instant and very quickly spread toxic smoke, heat and flames throughout a home.

“A moment’s distraction is all it can take and when people are under the influence of alcohol that becomes an even greater risk, so if people are drinking then we’d appeal to them to choose not to cook.”

SFRS crews are eager to support anyone who could use firefighters’ help and advice to stay safe in their homes.

Reaching those who could be at highest risk from fire is a constant challenge however and the service has appealed for the public to help put it in touch with potentially vulnerable members of the community.

Free home fire safety visits are available from SFRS by calling the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in an online form at

Conducted by local crews, the visits see firefighters share tips on how to prevent fires from starting. They also check homes have adequate fire detection in place and install free smoke alarms where the devices are needed.

Residents are also advised to consider having a heat alarm installed within the kitchen, as the devices provide additional early-warning of a fire without activating due to small amounts of cooking-related smoke.