The death of a man in a flat fire in Perth has highlighted a breakdown in communication between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Perth and Kinross Council.
The 55-year-old died following the blaze at the home on Bute Drive in the early hours of March 18.
The cause of the fire is not yet known but is thought to have been accidental.
It has emerged there was a “slight delay” in PKC being notified of the fire by emergency services.
A local fire chief this week revealed the issue as he presented the latest quarterly SFRS for January 1 to March 31, 2022 report to PKC’s Housing and Social Wellbeing Committee on June 15.
At around 4am on Friday, March 18 emergency services were called to a blaze at Bute Drive, Perth.
The victim was rushed to hospital in an ambulance where he later passed away.
Councillors were this week told the cause of the fire had not yet been identified but early indications point to it being accidental.
Station Commander Mike Rumgay said: “The occupant in the fire at Bute Drive was not known to the SFRS and subsequently the SFRS engaged with 83 properties within the surrounding area giving advice and reassurance to occupants.
“The cause has not been released but early indicators are that it was accidental.
“The incident highlighted a breakdown in communication between the fire service and Perth and Kinross Council Housing so Elaine Ritchie [PKC’s Housing senior service manager] and myself met and in conjunction with the emergency planning officers.
“We now have a structured arrangement in place for the whole of Perth and Kinross that will allow for PKC to be notified of a fire within any dwelling within Perth and Kinross.”
We understand the PKC was made aware of the incident prior to the SFRS notifying the council through agreed channels.
Following the debrief a new revised procedure was agreed so the SFRS can notify the local authority quicker to incidents of this nature.
A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council told how there had been a “slight delay” in the council being notified of the incident by the emergency services.
The council spokesperson said: “Following any serious incident, a debriefing session is held to identify any service improvements that could be made.
“In relation to this tragic fire, a slight delay was noted in the council being alerted to the incident by emergency services due to the timing of the incident.
“This slight delay did not have a material impact on the professional response and once alerted, our staff were quickly on site to offer support to tenants in the block of flats.”
Area Commander Scott Gibson is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Local Senior Officer for Perth, Kinross, Angus and Dundee.
He said: “Our thoughts very much remain with those affected by this tragic incident. Our priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our communities.
“We always work collaboratively with our partner agencies and will continue to seek ways to further develop these relationships.
“A key priority for us is also prevention – we always want to prevent fires from occurring in the first place. We also work to engage with communities to try to prevent house fires through the delivery of targeted home fire safety visits and through our campaigns, such as Make the Call.”