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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 November, 2004, 18:33 GMT
Nightclub building could be saved
Fire crews at the scene in Bath Street, Glasgow
Fire crews assess the damage to the nighclub building in Glasgow
The A-listed building destroyed by a massive fire in the centre of Glasgow looks like it will not have to be demolished.

Flames destroyed the interior of the building in Bath Street, which housed two nightclubs, on Friday morning.

Both the Trash and Shack clubs were completely gutted in the blaze but their owners have now appointed a contractor to shore up the structure.

Fire crews are still at the scene trying to assess the damage.

Clubs destroyed

Nearby homes had to be evacuated and rush-hour traffic was severly disrupted during the incident, which it is believed started in the early hours.

The blaze broke out in the basement Trash club and quickly spread, destroying the upstairs Shack venue.

Police sealed off the area surrounding the clubs and fire crews battled to control the flames and billowing smoke.

Strathclyde Assistant Firemaster Keith Small said the emergency call was received at 0545 GMT on Friday.

The fire started to appear through the ventilation ducting in the bigger of the two buildings here
Keith Small
Assistant Firemaster
Four crews were initially called out and some firefighters entered the lower ground floor of the 19th century A-listed former church but were forced back by flames.

Mr Small said: "They were making progress into the building but after some time they saw fire begin to appear round about them and above them and at that time they had to withdraw to the door.

"The fire started to appear through the ventilation ducting in the bigger of the two buildings here. They accessed that part of the building and the fire had already spread there.

"We eventually had to withdraw."

Mr Small described the incident as a large-scale fire and added that 12 fire engines and two ladder appliances were called in.

Some fire crews remained on site as night fell to damp down the embers as fire investigators probed the cause.

Firefighters overhead
The fire was thought to have started in the ealry hours
Glasgow City Council social work staff set up an emergency centre for about 50 evacuated residents.

Most were allowed home later but some who have homes very close to the clubs have been offered overnight hotel accommodation while water damage is assessed.

Commuters walking along nearby Sauchiehall Street had to avoid drifting smoke from the building when the blaze was at its height.

One resident who lives in Pitt Street told the BBC News website: "I came back to my flat at about 7am this morning.

"They said at that time that they were trying to dampen down the fire, but it seems to have got worse.

"About 20 minutes ago they came and told my wife to evacuate the flat."

High-powered jets

There was an explosion at about 0830 GMT and another huge plume of smoke billowed out of the building.

Flames shot out of the roof of the structure and the interior was seen to be completely alight.

Fire crews on two ladders directed high-powered jets of water into gaping holes in the roof.

The Strathclyde Police helicopter circled overhead and thick grey smoke could be seen billowing into the city centre, blocking out the sun.

By mid-morning on Friday, fire crews were involved in dampening down the last smouldering embers of the fire.

Road closures were put in place for at least 24 hours as fire investigators continued their work and damage was assessed.

The Shack had celebrated its fourth anniversary with a birthday party on Thursday night.

Information for residents in the area and road closures is available on 08700 501 999.

In Pictures: Nightclub fire
26 Nov 04 |  In Pictures

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