A FRUSTRATED dad claims his children have been “traumatised” and left homeless since they were rescued last month from fire-hit flats.

Single parent Darren Montgomery lived in a top floor flat on Dumbain Road, Haldane, and says he awoke in the early hours of August 29 to black smoke in the building.

The 32-year-old says he and his son, aged six, and daughter, aged four, had to be rescued by fire fighters.

Darren claims his two children are now too scared to stay in a flat again – but alleged the only temporary accommodation on offer to him from West Dunbartonshire Council is a flat in Bellsmyre.

He told the Reporter: “I woke up about half one, the house was full of black smoke. I ran and got the two bairns out of their beds. When I opened the door I could see black smoke.

“On the phone emergency services told me to take them to the veranda. We had to be rescued by fire fighters.

“My daughter is still a bit traumatised. She talks about the ‘bad men’. She’s not really sleeping and having night terrors.

“They can’t stay in a flat. My kids are actually terrified.”

Last week, a spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council told the Reporter they were assisting the evacuated residents and would “continue to provide temporary accommodation for as long as required”.

But the worried father alleges there has been no consideration for his children, with the proposed temporary flat eight miles away from their school at Balloch Campus.

Meanwhile, other residents with no children have been put up in hotels in Balloch, he claims.

“There’s not been consideration for my kids,” Darren continued.

“I’ve heard the council have been sending single people to hotels in Balloch – people without children.

“I’ve just been jumping from house to house.

“I’m not wanting to take another flat. They say there’s only one flat available, in Bellsmyre. There’s no way that’s all they can do.”

And he says the family is now at a loss, with his children unwilling to go back home once the Dumbain Road building repairs are complete.

“I don’t want my house back,” Darren added.

“My children are never going to want to go back to it. It’s not a safe enough close. It’s just making things harder.”

In response, a spokeswoman for the council said Darren has been offered accommodation in Haldane, Bonhill and most recently Bellsmyre, but that he has declined each of these.

“We are sorry to hear Mr Montgomery is unhappy,” the spokeswoman added. “Every resident was offered temporary accommodation immediately following the fire and in addition we had specialist staff on site providing support and information.

“We are continuing to support Mr Montgomery to identify a short term solution until the family can return to their home.”

Police Scotland are still investigating the wilful fire-raising