19th September 2018
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Bungalow’s roof collapses after blaze

A police car stands guard outside the fire-damaged bungalow in Tingwall. Photo: Adam Civico

A police car stands guard outside the fire-damaged bungalow in Tingwall. Photo: Adam Civico

An overnight blaze has caused extensive damage to an empty house in Tingwall.

The roof of the house at Tingview at the bottom of Griesta Road collapsed after the fire took hold just after 3am.
Around 20 firefighters attended from Scalloway, Lerwick and Bixter after an 999 call was made in the early hours.

Eight firefighters carried out a search inside the burning building. They wore breathing apparatus and were equipped with four main jets.

No-one has been found inside the property. So far fire crews have been unable to access every part of the building.

However, information gleaned from a nearby resident later indicated the home was likely to have been unoccupied.

It later emerged the house was the home of recently deceased Phylis Burns, an elderly woman whose funeral took place last week.

Police and fire investigators are due to arrive from the mainland to investigate what may have caused the blaze. A road was closed for safety reasons.

Station manager Myles Murray, the incident commander, said: “This was a significant fire that resulted in severe damage including the collapse of the building’s roof.

“Due to the extent of the damage our crews have as yet been unable to access every part of the structure, which is obviously required to confirm no-one was present.

“Internal and external firefighting operations brought the flames under control by 5.30am but dampening down work has continued throughout the morning.”

The fire service has also taken the chance to warn against the dangers of fire in the home, and offer practical steps to help avoid a fire taking place.

It advises residents to:

• Never overload electrical sockets.
• Never place candles near items that could easily catch fire.
• Never walk away from a cooker without first taking pots and pans off the heat and switching the dials to off.

Fire officers say that, where fires do start, they can very quickly spread toxic smoke throughout a home. They insist it is “vital” every property is protected by working smoke alarms.

Mr Murray added: “Our crews regularly provide free home fire safety visits to help householders stay safe, so Iwould urge anyone who thinks they could benefit to get in touch with us.

“We also want people to consider the safety of their friends, family members and neighbours.

“If you know someone who could be at increased risk then put them in contact with the fire service so we can provide support – it really could prevent a tragedy.”

This post was updated at 11.30am Friday, 16th January.

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