Within the space of a week, there have been three significant fires in or around Glasgow (there may have been others, but these are the ones I’m aware of).
The most recent was at a Land Rover car dealership in Motherwell. This fire was thought to have been started deliberately, and has been estimated to have cause about £850,000 of damage.
Just the day before that there was a fire in Hamilton in a disused hotel, the Hamilton Town Hotel. This building was due to be demolished to make way for a new £7m hotel.
And final, last Friday night, the fire which I’m sure you are all aware of, the second fire in the space of four years at the internationally renowned Glasgow School of Art (GSA). The fire this time was much worse, and in fact spread to nearby buildings, including the Campus nightclub and O2 ABC music venue.
At the time of the fire last week, the Mackintosh library (an A-listed building), was being restored in a project estimated to be costing £35m, was due to reopen next year.
Thankfully in each of these recent fires, no-one has been injured. However when it comes to the impact of the fire on the surrounding area and community, the fire at GSA has by far had the greatest impact. Many have expressed deep sadness, and used words such as ‘devastating’ and ‘shocking’, to describe this latest fire.
We still don’t know what caused this latest fire at GSA, and it’s also unclear whether any of the building will need to be demolished, or whether it’s going to be possible to save it.
GSA has been an iconic part of Glasgow for so many years, that for those of us who consider Glasgow to be home, it seems hard to contemplate our city without those beautiful buildings anymore. So let’s hope that once again, GSA can be rebuilt from the embers, and come back restored to its former beauty once again.