Residents flee flames
SHOCKED Bellsmyre residents watched in horror as young families fled from a blaze that ripped through a block of flats.
Aitkenbar Drive neighbours saw terrified residents clambering out of windows trying to escape from the flames, while mums grabbed their babies and ran to safety.
The blaze, which is currently being treated as wilful fire raising, also meant one woman aged 55 had to be rushed to Paisley's Royal Alexandria Hospital, where she was treated for smoke inhalation.
The exact cause of the Friday's fire is under investigation.
On Monday, one shocked resident, who didn't want to be named, told the Reporter how she was chatting to a pal outside the flats when she realised they were going up in flames.
She said: "It was horrific. I had to pull my wean away because the smoke was filling the place - I had to leave.
"It all happened so quickly. There was a lassie walking up the stairs with her dog. Then she started screaming, 'There's a fire' and yelling that smoke was coming from one of the doors.
"I started screaming, 'Just get everybody out'. One of the lassies living at the top came running down the stairs with her sister and friend and baby but her other boy was out at the time. They just got out of the close as it filled with smoke. If that lassie wasn't going up the close, nobody would have known about it until it was too late.
"There are five children living there so I'm just glad everyone is OK.
"There was a guy who couldn't get out and had to climb down his veranda and then down the veranda of the burning flat to get out. He had to or else he would have died."
Another resident who watched the drama unfold said: "I was sitting watching TV and then out the corner of my eye I could see this pure black smoke billowing out of the window. The next thing I knew there was people screaming.
"There are lots of kids that live in that block - it's very lucky none of them were hurt."
In total five householders had to be evacuated from the block of flats.
A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council added: "The council's out of hours homeless service was contacted on Friday July 6 following a fire at Aitkenbar Drive.
"In discussion with the landlord, Bellsmyre Housing Association, arrangements were made to accommodate one household in emergency temporary accommodation."
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 10 Jul 12
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