Badly damaged flats in Dundee are to be repaired almost seven months after a fire tore through the block.
Flames engulfed the building on Yeaman’s Lane in Lochee in the early evening of August 25.
But by October, residents said they had still not received any support or communication from the council regarding repairs.
Now residents say council workers have set up scaffolding to start work and hope it signals an end to months of living in cold and draughty conditions.
‘It was absolutely freezing’
The fire mostly impacted flats on one side of the building and the communal roof, with some inhabitants facing a cold winter after their window frames melted.
Full-time carer Donna Martin said, despite the news of repairs, she fears the council will not fix the smoke damage in her room.
The 59-year-old said: “I’ve heard nothing from the council on the repairs.
“Every time I’ve phoned them up to ask, I’ve just been passed around.
“I had to sleep on the sofa from August until December because my window was all boarded up.
“It was absolutely freezing since the window was letting in draughts. It still is freezing.
“They replaced my window in my bedroom on December 9.
“But there’s still smoke damage around the window and I’m not able to fix it myself.”
Another resident said council workers had recently started preparing to carry out the repair work on the building’s exterior.
They said: “I got a letter a couple months ago about the repairs but it didn’t concern me as my part of the building was fine.
“They’ve been setting up outside over the past few days.
“My flat wasn’t really affected but a few families towards the front of the building were, they had a lot of smoke and windows damaged.”
Police confirmed the blaze originated from a pile of furniture found alight in front of the block of flats.
Neighbours were forced to exit out of the rear of the address during the fire, as flames soared into the air just outside the main entrance.
Repairs begin after seven months
Another resident added: “[The council] have been good recently after waiting for so long.
“They’ve started setting up in the last week I think. They’ve also been in to check everything is functioning in my flat since it was close to the fire.
“I’m glad that I have something good to say about the council finally.”
Lochee councillor Charlie Malone said: “I am pleased that work has started on the burnt flats on Yeaman’s Lane.
“I have been in regular contact with officers on behalf of the residents.
“The fire took hold last August so residents have had to endure poor conditions.
“I appreciate that specialist contractors are required and I have again asked for a project timeline for completion of the repairs to be sent to residents.
“I’m pleased work appears to be starting but my sympathies lie with the residents.”
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “We are actively engaged in the plans to repair the fire damaged cladding and associated repair works at the location.
“We will continue to communicate with tenants on the project’s timeline and about any specific repairs.”