The gable of a Lerwick house undergoing renovation collapsed this afternoon, leaving a sizeable hole in the four-foot thick stone wall.
Olaf Isbister said the work was being done up for his mother who had just bought the house and intends to move back to Shetland from Caithness at the end of the summer.
Mr Isbister said that the workmen renovating the house in Market Street heard a rumble and managed to get clear of the debris. It was then decided to call the fire brigade for advice.
Mr Isbister said that the builders, Hatal Joinery and Building, who he has employed before, had merely been stripping the inside walls in preparation for re-insulating and modernising the building, when the gable crumbled. He believed the wall had been damaged in a chimney fire some years ago.
“Hopefully it will not be a major set-back,” he added. “The structural engineer says the front and back walls are sound and the gable was only supporting itself.”
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area commander Myles Murray said that three fire appliances, police and ambulance attended the scene. Fire crews cordoned off the area till the site was secured. Fire officers then assisted Hydro engineers to cut off the electrical supply.
• On Tuesday morning police advised that Market Street would remain closed until the building is made safe. That is likely to take several days.