Fire in sauna closed Allander sports centre

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Young swimmers had to be evacuated from the Allander Leisure centre in Bearsden

after a fire broke out in a sauna.

The drama happened on Saturday morning, as 20 youngsters from Milngavie and Bearsden Swimming Club were competing in time trials.

Swimmers had to go to evacuation points in the car park - still in their cossies.

Parents praised the professionalism of centre staff, who made sure the youngsters stayed safe and warm by providing them with space blankets.

The fire happened after a sauna cabin faught fire and no one was hurt in the incident.

However, the centre has been closed since Saturday, but was due to re-open today (Thursday, February 20).

Fiona Shiels, mother of Ellis (11), from Bearsden, said everything had gone very smoothly with a well rehersed plan swinging into action.

She said: “It was about 8.30am and the centre was a bit busier than normal because of the time trials and all the parents who had come to watch.

“We could all smell smoke and knew it wasn’t a fire drill. When the alarm went off the staff were absolutely fabulous and handed out space blankets to keep the children warm. It was all done with great efficiency and the staff and parents also allowed the children to stay in their cars to keep warm.

“I am guessing there were between 20 to 30 swimmers and they were out of the building for betwenn 30 to 45 minutes.”

Mark Grant, General Manager at East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, said: “There was an electrical fire in the sauna facility just before 9am.

“The sauna cabin caught fire just after being switched on before the public entered the building. The cabin is at the back of the building near the plant room and the electrical cables that feed the main distribution boards around the building have been fire damaged.”

Mr Grant added: “The alarm systems, fire detection and fire evacuation procedures all worked effectively, and the fire service attended and dealt with the fire.

“I would like to thank customers for their patience during the closure period and our staff for their support and efforts in getting the facility reopened.”