Community rallies to help Camelon fire victims who ‘lost everything’

Kindhearted Camelon residents have rallied to help five families left homeless after two separate fires ripped through their properties.

By Charlene Wilson
Thursday, 20th June 2019, 5:11 pm

Firefighters spent over four hours battling a blaze which broke out in a four-in-a-block building in Mansionhouse Road just before 6am on Thursday, June 13.

On the same morning fire crews tackled an inferno at a house in nearby Watling Street plus a third fire in a shed, also in Watling Street.

Fortunately all residents of the affected properties escaped without serious injuries although two individuals were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

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All three fires are being treated as suspicious and a Police Scotland spokesman confirmed that a 21-year-old man was later arrested and charged in connection with all of the incidents.

Mansionhouse Road resident, Sandy, who lives next door to the gutted building, said she felt “absolutely devastated” for her neighbours.

“It was a huge fire and my heart goes out to them. It’s a tragedy – they’ve lost everything.

“I was one of the first on the street with the police. All the neighbours were told to get out of our homes as a precaution and everyone gathered in the street.

“I feel heartbroken for everyone affected, especially one of the guys who lived right opposite me.

“I would see him every day so I miss him now he’s not there. He’s such a lovely guy.

“He’s been left with nothing so I’m giving him my furniture as I’m getting new stuff soon anyway.

“The neighbours have all been rallying round too, donating bags of clothes and toiletries and stuff like that.”

The nearby Camelon Parish Church (CPC) Community Shop has also helped by donating bags of clothes and necessities to the fire victims.

Sheena Brown, who works in the shop, said: “We have helped by by giving clothes and toiletries and the shop also gave a monetary donation.

“What happened is a real tragedy and it’s just awful to think those affected have been left with nothing but the clothes they got out of bed in.”

A spokeswoman for Tesco’s Camelon store on Glasgow Road said the supermarket had stepped in to assist too by donating gift cards to the households affected so they could buy toiletries and other necessities.

She added: “We were approached by members of the community and were happy to help.”

Tamfourhill Community Hall and TTRA has pledged support via its Facebook Page by appealing for donations of household goods and basic essentials to help the households affected.

A statement said: “We are going to do a collection of any unwanted household goods and stuff they might need to start again.

“If anyone has anything they would like to donate please pm the centre and we can arrange to get it to the families involved.”

A further statement on the page posted yesterday however stated that collections for items were on hold until they had been requested by the individuals concerned.

A Just Giving page has also been set up to help the families affected by the Camelon fires.

The page, set up by a Shelley Ferguson, states: “These families have been left with absolutely nothing! Their houses have all been gutted.

“They feel totally blessed to still be alive however the clothes they stand in is all they have to call their own.

“Clothes/food have and are still being donated however whilst waiting on emergency housing they have nothing to move in with. Carpets, curtains, wall coverings, absolutely nothing!” Anyone who would like to donate to the households affected via the Just Giving Page can do so by visiting www.gofundme.com/camelon-house-fires

Falkirk Council is working with all households affected by the fires in Camelon and continuing to offer support and help them plan for the future.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “As a result of house fires in Camelon on June 13 five households were evacuated from their homes, due to extensive fire damage.

“All affected households have either been provided with emergency temporary accommodation by the council or have decided to stay with family. The council is currently working with evacuated council tenants to provide them with more sustainable housing, pending an assessment of the damage and remedial work on their property being completed.

“Support will also be provided in terms of furnishing the properties, given the losses experienced by the residents.”

Local charity From Me to You, based in Callendar Square, is also offering its services to those affected by the fires. The organisation assists people struggling due to poverty or hardship by providing them with items they could not otherwise afford.

Spokeswoman Emma McGregor said: “Our thoughts are with everyone affected. We have many useful household items in stock that could perhaps be of benefit and we can be contacted through Facebook or by emailing [email protected]