Fire destroys former primary school building

The derelict building that had housed the Gartsherrie primary school in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire was reported ablaze on the evening of Sunday 9 June.

Police and fire responded to calls as thick black smoke from the fire could be seen as far away as Glasgow city centre, with a Police Scotland statement saying: “Emergency services are in attendance and there are no reports of any injuries.

As a precaution, officers are advising local residents to remain indoors and keep their windows and doors closed as they deal with this incident”.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service added that: “We were alerted at 7.45pm on Sunday, June 9 to reports of a fire in a derelict building on Gartsherrie Road, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.

Operations Control mobilised three appliances and a high reach appliance to the scene.

With the blaze causing the roof of the building to collapse, fire crews continued to bring the incident under control into the small hours, with one crew remaining overnight and into the following day to dampen down any hotspots.

North Lanarkshire Council also confirmed to the Daily Record that it had staff at the scene “to make sure it is safe and secure once emergency services have finished and concluded any investigations”.

The primary school had been shut in 2010 as part of a series of primary school closures in the area due to lower pupil numbers but remained an important local landmark according to Fulton MacGregor, SNP MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston who said: “I know how much this building means to those local to the area as well as wider Coatbridge.

Sad night especially for those with memories of attending school there.”

As a representative example of a period, style or building type, the school, designed in 1906 by local architect James Davidson, had received Category C listing in the mid-2000s.

Echoing, Mr MacGregor’s comments, Scottish Labour MSP for Central Scotland, Monica Lennon said: “This is devastating news, as the former Gartsherrie Primary School is a special place for so many in the local community.

I am relieved that no-one was hurt in this terrible blaze, and I encourage nearby residents to continue to follow safety advice.

The emergency services worked hard to get the incident under control as the fire ripped through the building.

I join others in paying tribute to our police and fire services and hope that a full investigation will provide answers.”

Police Scotland have confirmed that enquiries into the circumstance of the fire are underway.