Fatal fire in Cumbernauld

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 15:53 on 5 February 2015

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Picture: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

A WOMAN has been confirmed dead after a fire at a house in the Westfield of Cumbernauld, earlier today (5 February).

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the devastating news that one woman had lost her life as a result of an early morning fire at a house in Inchwood Court earlier today.

 A woman was confirmed to have died after emergency services responded to a fire at a house in Cumbernauld’s Inchwood Court early on Thursday morning (5 February).

Two appliances were mobilised from Cumbernauld Fire Station, along with a third from Kilsyth following a 999 call made around 00:10am to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

Upon arrival, six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property to conduct search and rescue operations, and extinguish what has been described by the Fire and Rescue Service as "a well-developed fire."

When searching the property, the firefighters located the body of the deceased woman, who had sadly lost her life.

A second woman and a man escaped the scene with their lives, however; and received treatment at the scene for burns and the effects of breathing in smoke before they were taken by ambulance to Monklands Hospital.

Officers from the SFRS Fire Investigation Unit have been in attendance at the scene, and will work with Police Scotland to establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.

Commenting, Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, the SFRS director of prevention and protection, paid his "thoughts" to everybody who knew the woman - who has not yet been formally identified.

He said: “The loss of life through fire in the home is utterly devastating and the thoughts of everyone will be with those involved in this tragedy.

“In the aftermath of a fatal fire it’s important to determine what happened and of course we are working closely with our police colleagues to do exactly that.

“Any death through fire must make us all reflect on the risks within the home and think about what we can do to protect ourselves and those around us, especially older people or others who might need help to stay safe.

ACO Ramsay continued: “The sad fact is we know older people are particularly vulnerable to house fires.

“Almost a third of people injured through fire in the past five years were aged 60 or over, while three-quarters of preventable fire deaths were people aged 50 and over.

“The reasons for this are clear – older people are more likely to live alone, be on medication, or have limited mobility and long-term medical conditions including dementia, other cognitive impairments and difficulty with their sight or hearing. 

“Our crews are constantly working to help keep vulnerable members of their communities safe.   Preventing fatal fires is not something we can do alone.  We really do need the public to help us reach everyone who could benefit from support.

“I would appeal for everyone to ask themselves if someone they know could be at risk. If the answer is yes then please act now and help them stay safe.

“We need active citizens to take responsibility for the safety of others; to talk to vulnerable friends and neighbours about the danger of fire, make sure they have working smoke alarms and know what to do in an emergency.

“If someone puts a potentially vulnerable resident in touch with us then we can arrange to go to their home and help them take very simple steps to dramatically reduce the risk of a fire happening.

“We can fit smoke alarms free of charge. That alone could alert householders quickly if fire does break out. 

“It will give them confidence, reassure them that their home is protected and it really could save their life.”

“People should also consider fitting a heat alarm within kitchens – the room where most house fires start – as the devices are specifically designed to give early warning of fire.”

To join Scotland's fight against fire and arrange a free home fire safety visit, call SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999 or text ‘FIRE’ to 80800, which is also free of charge. 

Alternatively, people can arrange a visit via the SFRS website www.firescotland.gov.uk.