Fire chiefs confirm blaze at Aberdeen flat was an accident

Fire chiefs today confirmed a blaze which ripped through an Aberdeen flat was accidental.

The fire caused significant damage to the top-floor property and the roof of the block on Mastrick Road on January 23.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service group manager Ally Birkett, incident commander at the scene, said while he was unable to give an exact cause for the blaze, nothing suspicious was found.

Firefighters at the scene of the blaze in Mastrick Road on January 23 which, after an investigation, has now been branded ‘accidental’

He added: “The investigation has concluded and the cause was confirmed as accidental.

“As soon as the fire was out, the guys went and had a look to gather more information.

“There was nothing untoward found.”

Residents in the block have so far been unable to return home and Mr Birkett admitted it could be some time before the flats are habitable again.

He added: “I doubt very much anybody will be able to live in that block in the near future.

“There was significant structural damage to the roof, which was open to the elements, and water had seeped down into the flats below.”

Kevin Pacitti, 35, lives in a ground-floor flat with his partner Jaime Smith, 30, his son and Jaime’s two daughters.

The family have been living in temporary accommodation in Cornhill Gardens since the week following the fire, having initially stayed with relatives.

Kevin revealed they have no idea when they will be able to move back into their home.

He said: “The temporary accommodation is okay. It’s quite basic, but it’s got everything we need. But at the moment we have no date for moving back into our home.

“The council’s own insurers haven’t even been in yet so it’s not going to be any time soon.

“It seems like we are not getting any further forward.

“We have spoken to people in most of the affected flats and everyone has just been the victim of a freak accident.

“We are actually really lucky and thankful that everyone is ok.

“But the upsetting thing is that we are the ones who are having to chase the relevant people up about what’s happening.

“They maybe feel they can’t contact us because they’re not sure, but even if they got in touch to say ‘sorry, we don’t have a date yet’, we would really appreciate it.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “We assisted residents who required emergency temporary accommodation and are in the process of clearing the building and establishing the repairs required to allow a scope of the works to be carried out.

“There will also be input from our insurer’s loss adjustor.

“A timescale is difficult to establish at this early stage, but we will continue to update and support the residents who are affected.”