Residents had lucky escape after fire broke out at flats

Woodland Street, residents and family at entrance of flats where there was a fire.
Woodland Street, residents and family at entrance of flats where there was a fire.

People in a block of flats in Milngavie narrowly escaped serious injury recently after a fire broke out at the communal entrance to their homes.

Vandals set fire to bags of paper that the residents had left for East Dunbartonshire Council to collect for recycling.

Occupants in the flats were woken at 3am on Saturday, March 8 when a neighbour alerted them to the fire - and found their hallway was filled with smoke.

Alison Sampson, daughter of 88-year-old Mrs Morton who lives in the flats in Woodland Street, said: “It could have been a lot worse if the man living opposite hadn’t seen the flames. There is a lot of wood in the frame of the porch which could have caught alight.

“Whoever did this has no idea of the consequences of their actions. The fire brigade were here just in time.”

Another resident Lesley Cook said: “It was scary, my elderly neighbour’s door is PVC and could have melted - she would have been trapped as she is infirm. It could have been very nasty.”

Residents say this fire could have been prevented if the council had collected the paper the previous Friday when they were supposed to.

Mrs Sampson added: “Thankfully no-one was injured but what if this happens again?”

Grace Irvine, Director of East Dunbartonshire Council’s Neighbourhood Services said: “This is a very serious matter and thankfully nobody was injured on this occasion.

“The properties at Woodland Street get a fortnightly uplift of recycling and an assisted collection, where council employees remove the waste from the building for the residents. We have no reports of any disruptions to this service however we will check our systems again to ensure there has been no reporting oversight.

“The waste officers will assess the block to see if there is a more suitable location for storage and will also monitor it to ensure that all residents receive a good service.”