Gorbals Youth Cafe is out of business for the next few weeks because of flooding. ‘It is very frustrating,’ said Tracey Boyle, the project manager.
At summer holiday time an average of 120 young people a week would be through the doors and collecting pack lunches for outings. ‘We can’t use the cafe or the kitchen. The place was flooded ankle deep in sewerage and it will take weeks to clean up at great cost,’ said Tracey.
Flooding outside the building was reported before the Glasgow Fair holiday weekend. ‘But it took a week for Scottish Water to come to sort out the problem. By that time the flooding was inside the building too,’ said Tracey who has been the driving force behind the place since 1996. Because of the holiday weekend and the building being closed for five days, the staff did not know the water had penetrated their premises until they went to open up on Tuesday 19 July.
‘It will be a real issue for us how we cope with running the project without the cafe to generate income,’ she added.
An alternative kitchen elsewhere in the complex can be used from next week to make the packed lunches. ‘In the meanwhile the young folk just need to buy their own food. That probably means the local chippy which is not what our healthy eating policy encourages.’
A Scottish Water spokesperson said their contractors had attended the sewer flooding incident in Wadell Court to clean up the affected area. They said: ‘It will be necessary for our engineers to investigate our waste water network in the area further to establish the possible cause of this incident. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.’
The 61-year-old man who died in a fire at a flat in Gorbals has been named as Thomas Smith.
Firefighters found Mr Smith’s body in a fourth-floor flat at 83 Waddell Court in the early hours of Wednesday after the blaze was extinguished.
Two women, aged 24 and 26, and two men, aged 31 and 37, were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation at Victoria Infimary. The 24-year-old woman and the 31-year-old man have been discharged.
Police and Strathclyde Fire & Rescue are continuing their investigations into the fire at the 77-flat block, although there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.
In Wednesday night, 21 families were allowed to return to their homes. The remainder spent the night in hotels, bed and breakfast or temporary furnished accommodation.
A GHA spokesman said: ‘GHA is pulling out all of the stops to help the families affected by yesterday’s tragic fire.
‘We were able to give 21 families access to their flats last night and a further 24 more today, although some chose to stay with family and friends.
‘Due to smoke and water damage to some properties, it is expected that a small number of tenants will not get access to their properties tonight.
‘GHA will continue to provide temporary accommodation and will do everything it can to ensure their comfort and wellbeing over this difficult period.’
A man has died and two other adults were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in a fifth-floor maisonette flat in the Gorbals.
More than 40 people were rescued or escorted from their homes at 83 Waddell Court after fire crews were called to the block at around 3am on Wednesday morning.
Firefighters had to force their way into the property where the 61-year-old was found.
At the height of the blaze, 20 fire appliances were at the scene and 20 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were in action inside the building.
The fire was brought under control at around 7am and the eastbound lane of nearby Ballater Street was closed until mid-morning.
Tenants who were moved from their homes were fed and accommodated at Gorbals Leisure Centre.
Area Commander Garry Milne, one of the officers in charge during the incident, said: ‘In my 20-plus years in the fire service I have never seen such a fierce fire in a property such as this.’
On Wednesday afternoon, Strathclyde Police, Fire & Rescue and council officials were planning contingency measures for the tenants at Waddell Court.
Glasgow Housing Association said the entire building, 77 flats, had been evacuated. The landlord hopes to have returned as many tenants to their homes as possible by Wednesday evening. Others will be moved to hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation or housed temporarily in furnished flats.
GHA’s Acting Director of Housing and Customer Services, Alex McGuire, said: ‘We are doing everything possible to help the families who are affected by the fire.
‘Investigations by Strathclyde Fire & Rescue and Strathclyde Police are continuing. Some of the homes have suffered fire and smoke damage and others have been affected by water damage.
‘Until inquiries are complete and properties are habitable a number of tenants will be unable to return to their homes.
‘We will put these families up in alternative accommodation and do everything we can to ensure their comfort and well-being.
‘GHA and other agencies are co-operating fully with the investigation.’