Around 60 firefighters spent more than eight hours battling a huge blaze which tore through a Fife nursing home on Monday, leaving 50 elderly residents homeless.
Fire crews rushed to Kincardine just after 3pm after receiving reports of a large fire spreading through Forth Bay nursing home on the town’s Walker Street.
All 50 residents of the home were evacuated and accounted for within half an hour with no casualties reported.
The town was brought to a standstill with ambulances, police cars and a total of nine pump appliances and two high-reach vehicles racing to the scene.
The blaze, the cause of which is not yet known, was brought under control at around 7pm, however crews were still battling small pockets of fire late into the evening.
The home, which is believed to have only been built in the last few years, has been left badly damaged with the eastern side of the roof having caved in within hours of the fire taking hold.
One woman, Heather Syme, whose mother lives in the care home, told The Courier of her shock at seeing the building ablaze.
“I thought my mother was inside at first, if I’m honest, I was so scared,” she said.
“I was driving over from Bo’ness to visit her and I could see the flames for miles, all the way from Grangemouth.
“There were emergency vehicles everywhere but I thought it was some kind of accident.
“I didn’t realise that it was actually my mother’s care home that was on fire until we got here and someone told us.
“I’m just so grateful she’s OK. It is one of the worst places that could have a fire. I have no idea how all the staff and emergency services got everyone out so quick.
“They have all done an absolutely amazing job, they really have.
“Good thing they were prepared because this fire could have killed
The residents of the care home have been taken to Kincardine Community Centre, where volunteers from the town have rallied to bring food and clothing.
The residents are said to be
recovering well but in severe shock at what occurred.
Locals Margarita Cunningham and Maria Kilday were among dozens who rushed to help the residents in any way they could.
Margarita said: “It’s a village that comes together and everyone has been great. People have been coming into the community centre to donate all sorts, from food to clothes.”
Maria added: “The local supermarkets such as Morrisons and the Co-op have contributed lots as well.
“The whole place has been marvellous in its response. Luckily everyone is OK.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were called to assist the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in responding to a fire at Forth Bay nursing home in Kincardine at around 3.25pm.
“The building was evacuated and all residents and staff have been accounted for.”
SFRS area manager Roddie Keith paid tribute to the “tremendous” fire crews and to locals for their “care and compassion”.