A phenomenal effort by the Craigshill community to help 25 families left homeless after last week’s fire has raised over £8000 and seen thousands of vital items donated.
People living on Katherine Street fled with “nothing but the clothes on their backs” when the fire swept through the block of flats last Thursday night.
Fortunately, no one was hurt, but families have been struggling with losing their possessions and not having a place to call home.
Since then, the people of Craigshill have gone out of their way to help, with a crowdfunding page and a donation drive at the Tower Bar.
The page has raised more than £8,500 and Tower Bar manager Frank McAlister said he has been inundated with donations.
Frank said the response to the fire was “nothing short of amazing.”
after receiving clothes, bedding, furniture, food, toiletries, toys and much more.
Fiona Macleod, who organized the fundraising page, said: “We’ve had an amazing response.
“To put it into perspective, there are 25 homes affected by this horrible fire and they were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. We have decided to raise the target in the hope that this money can really make a difference for them, starting from scratch and rebuilding their homes. Their generosity has been outstanding and we look forward to this continuing.”
West Lothian Council said it is also supporting residents.
The severe fire affected apartments from 1 to 12 Katherine Street, with tenants in 25 apartments owned by the Almond Housing Association affected.
Various municipal services were involved in the response to the incident.
The nearby Forestbank Community Center opened for residents immediately after the fire and Craigshill Road was closed between Victoria Street and Adelaide Street for the entire weekend.
Officials from the council’s Housing Service are now working with the Almond Housing Association to help tenants affected by the fire secure alternative accommodation for those who
they will not be able to return to their homes.
Executive Councilor for Community Services George Paul said: “This fire was a major incident and it is fortunate that no one was seriously injured as a result.
“The council is working with the Almond Housing Association to ensure those affected get the help they need at this difficult time.
“Any Katherine Street resident in need of support should contact Almond Housing or West Lothian Council.”
there is a dedication
resource in the advice shop to ensure affected residents are prioritized, including crisis grant applications.
The Advice Shop can be contacted on 01506 283000.
Anyone affected by the fire who needs additional support as a result is asked to contact the council on 01506 280000 or the Almond Housing Association on 01506 439291.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.