FAMILIES forced to leave their homes in the wake of the Glasgow School of Art fire have spoken of their anger at being banned from returning.
People whose homes fall inside a safety cordon put in place around the gutted building have not been allowed access to retrieve clothes or other essentials.
Around 50 people were rushed from their homes last Friday night as flames engulfed the Mackintosh Building and the neighbouring O2 ABC concert venue.
Glasgow City Council has warned people to stay away from the sealed-off area amid fears of a collapse “with no warning”.
Now evacuated residents have spoken of their frustration after Glasgow School of Art staff were last week allowed into a building within the cordon to retrieve students’ final degree work.
Louise Duncan, 56, from Glasgow, who owns a house in Dalhousie Street with her husband, has been forced to stay with her daughter.
She said: “Why is art school students’ work more important than our possessions?
“It’s ridiculous because they are constantly telling us that no one is getting access when it’s not true. Why are they prioritising this building over the community?”
Libbie Usher, 20, a PR manager for a nightclub, lives in a flat on Sauchiehall Street.
She said: “I was six days’ sofa surfing and I’ve been finally put up in a hotel. I had to go to Primark to buy basic essentials because I haven’t been able to get in my flat.
“I only managed to pack one outfit. It’s been mentally exhausting.
“I don’t understand why we can’t be escorted into our flats for even just 15 minutes to grab what we need.”
Stuart Neil, 26, a musician from Rutherglen who also had a flat on Sauchiehall Street, said: “I’ve been going down every morning to the cordon to ask police if I am allowed in but they tell me to call 101 who then tell me to ask at the cordon. It’s a vicious cycle.
“All my wages are in my flat as I get paid cash in hand. I have a fiver to my name.”
The Charing Cross Housing Association have stepped in to offer accommodation.
A council spokesman said: “We appreciate this is an extremely difficult time for the residents and businesses affected and are doing everything possible to assist. But it is not safe for residents to access their homes or enter the cordon – even for a short time.
Speaking on Friday Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said it was essential that no members of the public crossed the safety cordon.
She said: “Our building control officers are saying part of the building has moved quite significantly, about six inches.
“The elevation has shifted. There’s a danger that part of the building may collapse.”
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