Congregation and residents left devastated by church blaze

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TERRIFIED elderly residents had a lucky escape after a major fire ripped through a church and spread to their homes above the building.

Firefighters rushed to the blaze at Hillhead Parish Church, in Kirkintilloch.

It’s understood a mattress was deliberately set alight outside the church. Flames spread to the roof and the two flats above.

Luckily, the residents managed to get out of their homes to safety.

The church is now facing a major repair bill for the damage, which has destroyed part of the roof, kitchen and toilets.

The flats have also suffered serious smoke damage.

The blaze, which broke out last Thursday at around 3.40am, has left the congregation devastated, but they have vowed to bounce back.

Reverend Lily McKinnon said: “We’ve been very fortunate as it could have been a lot worse. We’re grateful that no-one was injured.”

Police are investigating the incident.

The Reverend Lily McKinnon is pictured at the church following the fire.