Community rallies round Denny man who lost everything in devastating flat fire

Gordon Muir in front of the ruins of his former home in Denny. Picture: Michael Gillen
Gordon Muir in front of the ruins of his former home in Denny. Picture: Michael Gillen

A community has rallied round a father who was left only with the clothes he stood in after a devastating fire destroyed his home and all of his possessions.

Gordon Muir was left distraught on Monday after a blaze broke out at around 3 p.m. in a second floor tenement flat in Denny and quickly spread through the century-old building.

The 26-year-old, who lived on the first floor, was left watching as a helpless bystander in the street as the ceiling of his home collapsed.

Firefighters battled for seven hours to prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring homes and businesses in the busy town centre thoroughfare.

No one was injured but Stirling Street was closed to traffic until yesterday afternoon while building inspectors worked to make safe the remains of the tenement.

While the damage was contained to the three council-owned flats at number 117, Gordon, whose home was uninsured, was left counting the cost of replacing all of his worldly goods, including those belonging to daughter Kaitlyn (5), who was staying with her mother at the time of the incident.

But unbeknown to him, the community was already planning to help in his hour of need.

“I have friends in Denny that I never knew I had,” he said yesterday.

Two firms - Bonnybridge-based civil engineers BAM Nuttall and decorators Denny Decor - have donated electrical goods and household items for Gordon, who has since been rehoused in Dunipace by Falkirk Council, after learning of their plight on social networking wesbites.

Many local businesses and residents have also offered donations and passed on messages of support.

All Occasions florists, Cafe Anton, Fruit Basket grocers, John McNally’s Barber Shop, Ocean Hair and Beauty and The Songbird bar have all stepped in to offer their help.

A fundraising afternoon will also take place on Sunday at The Red Hoose pub in Dunipace at 4 p.m.

“I’m overwhelmed by people’s generosity. I can’t thank them enough,” added Gordon.

“It’s been an unbelievable couple of days. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”

Denny resident Arlene McMurchie, who organised a community scheme last year that saw hundreds of presents donated to deserving children, was approached by a friend of Gordon and asked to help.

“The response we’ve had from people has been fantastic. So many businesses and people said that they wanted to help,” she said.

“It’s proof of the community spirit that still exists in Denny and Bonnybridge. People still look out for one another.”