RESIDENTS and business owners locked out of their properties following the Glasgow School of Art fire returned for the first time in 10 weeks – to face rotting food, damaged doors and infestations of flies.
The safety cordon in place around the Mackintosh building, which had cut off more than 30 properties, was yesterday relaxed to allow full access to premises on Sauchiehall Street.
However, residents of nearby Dalhousie Street were only able to visit their homes for a limited time with supervision and are not expected to have full access until tomorrow.
Business owners were the first to arrive to check their properties – and count the cost of having to shut up at short notice for more than two months.
Staff at the Blue Lagoon chip shop had to don face masks to cope with the smell of rotting food.
Asif Bashir, the owner of newsagents Newsbox, was sorting through sour milk and mouldy sandwiches.
He said the fire had resulted in the closure of the shop – which used to be open round-the-clock – for the first time in 18 years.
He said: “It has been painful. I am relieved we can get into the shop and back to work. Now my worry is if we can survive.”
Alexs Connor, 21 had been living in her rented flat in Sauchiehall Street for just a month when the fire happened.
She returned to find a badly damaged door – as a result of firefighters breaking it down to check homes were empty – and a cupboard with rotting fruit and a fly infestation.
She said: “I have been out of the flat longer than I have been in it.”
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