Complex investigation following major fire at Glasgow School of Art

An investigation into the fire that took hold of The Glasgow School of Art, O2 ABC and adjoining buildings at the weekend will be complex and thorough.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service says it will take some time to establish the full facts and circumstances.

He spoke as three fire engines and a high reach appliance remain at the scene in Glasgow city centre on Monday, June 18.

The fire has largely been extinguished however a few pockets of fire remain which crews are still working to extinguish.

There are no reported casualties. At its height, more than 120 firefighters attended the incident when the alarm was raised at 11.19pm on Friday, June 15.

ACO McGown, who is the SFRS Director of Prevention and Protection, said: “We are now in our third full day of fire service operations.

“Firefighters have been working extremely hard on the scene since Friday night – and continue to do so today.

“I would first and foremost like to pay tribute to their outstanding professionalism, working effectively alongside our partners to protect the community.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service recognises what the Glasgow School of Art building and O2 ABC mean to the people of Glasgow and the impact on smaller local businesses who have also been affected.

“This has been at the forefront of all of our minds throughout what has been a challenging and protracted incident.”

ACO McGown continued: “The investigation into this devastating incident has already commenced.

“Our fire investigation team has started gathering information and, working alongside our police partners, will look at various sources of information to establish exactly what has happened here.

“However, I would like to stress that this is a very complex process and will take time.

“It is of vital importance that we ensure the full facts and circumstances of this incident are clearly established.”

ACO McGown added: “Our Fire Investigations team are specialists in their own field.

“They will look at every aspect of this incident – including the cause of the fire, how it spread and what safety measures were in place.

“We understand the need for clarity here and why so many want to know how this happened, but I would again like to reiterate that we need to establish the full facts and circumstances of this incident – and this will take time.”
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