A fire in the roof of a Sauchiehall Street building in the early hours of 22 March has caused chaos in Glasgow’s city centre.
Described by eyewitnesses as “massive”, the fire in the building home to Victoria’s nightclub and Holland & Barrett, among others, was first brought to the attention of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) at 8:18am. More than 120 firefighters, along with Police Scotland and other emergency teams, spent most of the day attempting to extinguish it. The fire was described by onlookers as having spread to several other buildings, but it has been confirmed that fire crews were able to prevent it from spreading as far as the Pavilion Theatre on Renfield Street.
The SRFS evacuated a number of nearby buildings, and cordoned off a portion of Sauchiehall Street between Buchanan Street and Hope Street for most of the day, along with several surrounding streets. It is expected that access to these areas will continue to be blocked on 23 March.
Nearby residents were told by the SRFS to close their doors and pedestrians encouraged to stay upwind of the smoke due to a risk of being exposed to asbestos particles, as it is believed that the material may have been present in the roof of the building.
Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsey said: “This is an extremely challenging incident but the response and professionalism of our firefighters has been outstanding.
“We would urge the occupants of surrounding buildings to remain indoors and keep their windows closed due to the suspected presence of asbestos.
“This will be a protracted incident and crews will remain on the scene as they work to prevent further fire spread and damage in this prominent city centre location.”