RESIDENTS have told how their community rallied together after a major fire forced them to flee their homes.
More than 100 people had to leave their homes after a blaze ripped through the Arnold Clark Service Centre in Girdleness Road, Torry.
Balnagask Community Centre was opened up as a rest centre and after around six hours residents were eventually told it was safe to return to their homes.
Girdleness Terrace resident Amy Duguid said she woke up to a big bang at her door at around 6am.
The 78-year-old said: “The police knocked on the door and said the building had to be evacuated.
“I looked out the window and I couldn’t see anything for black smoke. Black smoke was bursting out the back when the police came.
“It was really thick, it was like pea soup. They had to carry me and some of the neighbours over the stone dyke out the back.
“I just had time to shove on a pair of trousers.”
Amy, who has lived in the street 56 years, says she could not praise her neighbours or emergency services enough.
She added: “I was looked over by the paramedics and the police and the ambulance were all lovely. There was more than 100 people in the community centre including a lot of kids and everyone was in their pyjamas.
“It was a great help, we’re all neighbours together.
“It could have been a lot worse.”
Retired drayman Gordon Bathgate and his wife Arlene were also evacuated from their flat.
Gordon, 83, said: “We were sitting looking out the window and couldn’t see anything for black smoke and then there was flames.It was really billowing.”
Arlene, 79, said the people in the community centre were “kind and helpful”.
She added: “The younger neighbours were also checking that everyone was okay. We feel fortunate we’re in a community that care about people.”
Resident Kim Main is in the committee of the Balnagask Community Centre which opened as a rest centre for evacuated residents.
Kim, who is the manager at the Grampian Bar, said: “We opened up the centre and got into the kitchen to make tea and coffee.
“A few elderly people were checked over by paramedics but just as a precaution. Tesco and Shell donated food so we went around the residents giving out food bags for them after the fire.”
Girdleness Terrace resident Denise Gorman said she woke up at 5am to what she thought was the sound of a bin lorry.
The 55-year-old added: “We knew we had to get out, it was very thick smoke before we got evacuated. The wind was blowing it right over.”
Around 50 firefighters tackled the flames at the garage for around four hours.
An eight-week-old baby was among the six people who were treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics with one elderly woman taken to hospital.