Fire thugs are putting lives at risk

Doorway of the flats that are vandalised'Photo Emma Mitchell'14/10/11
Doorway of the flats that are vandalised'Photo Emma Mitchell'14/10/11

WORRIED residents in a block of flats are living in fear after a fire was started in their close.

The blaze is the latest incident to take place in the town centre building.

The catalogue of problems includes litter being dumped, people urinating and vomiting in the close, and graffiti being sprayed on the walls.

Fed-up tenants say security doors to the council-owned building, in Townhead, Kirkintilloch, have not been locking for almost two years.

In the latest incident a fire was started in the close, causing damage to the stairwell.

One resident said: “The fire was discovered by a neighbour going to work in the morning.

“Someone had brought in cushions and phone directories and set them alight to keep warm.

“Since then we’ve had chips flung about the place and someone has been sick and urinated.

“For the last seven months it’s been non-stop, it’s terrible. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

The woman added: “We’re constantly reporting the problem with the doors to the council.

“Twice in two years someone has come out to try and fix them, but they are still broken.”

Residents regularly clean the close, but feel they are fighting a losing battle.

Kenny Simpson, head of housing and community services at East Dunbartonshire Council said: “Whilst the council replaced these doors a number of years ago, we appreciate that there have been issues with them, which have come to the fore in the past few weeks with a number of unfortunate incidents.

“I can confirm that we have arranged to repair the controlled entry doors to make them lock-fast.

“In the meantime, I’d like to thank residents for their patience and reassure them that this is being dealt with as a matter of urgency.”