Denny fire victim is waiting for council to act

Tom Warriner and his fiance Julianna Demeter outside the flat they cannot return to due to fire damage. Picture: Alan Murray
Tom Warriner and his fiance Julianna Demeter outside the flat they cannot return to due to fire damage. Picture: Alan Murray

A man has hit out at Falkirk Council for leaving him unable to return to his home 10 months after it was damaged by a fire which started in a neighbour’s flat.

Tom Warriner has been forced to live in rented accommodation since last June after his Stirling Street flat was deemed unsafe following the blaze that ripped through the building.

The tenement in Stirling Street, Denny, was gutted by fire in June 2014

The tenement in Stirling Street, Denny, was gutted by fire in June 2014

The 51-year-old, who owns his property, has had to continue paying council tax despite not being able to access his home for almost a year.

“I feel like I’ve been victimised,” he said. “I’ve spoken to the other tenants who lived in the block and none of them are paying council tax on it as they have been rehoused.

“I had spent four-and-a-half months redecorating the place before the fire. I had been speaking to a carpet fitter on the morning before the fire. I had hoped to have it on the market in January. All my work was ruined by water and smoke damage.

“Now I’m still waiting for Falkirk Council to carry out repairs. Nothing has been done since the fire, and its condition has deteriorated in that time.

I’m getting married in two weeks. I just want to get on with my life

Tom Warriner

“I’m getting married in two weeks. I just want to get on with my life.”

Mr Warriner, an employee at Alexander Dennis coachbuilders, has owned the flat for the past 15 years. The other properties are all council owned.

“I even offered to sell it to the council,” he said. “But I was told they would only consider that if the building had to be knocked down.”

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “The council will carry out work to repair the damage caused by the fire and a contractor will be on site to start the work in the summer.

“The timescales for carrying out the repairs is normal given the extent of the damage. We apologise for the inconvenience this is causing Mr Warriner.”