Rosebank Ave Fire


screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-13-32-30A serious fire occurred in Blantyre on 4th June 1927. That Saturday Night, a double two-storey villa at 6-8 Rosebank Avenue, Low Blantyre, caught alight, the fire originating from a gas stove where food was being cooked.

The property was owned by Messrs Speirs and Knox, Glasgow, and it was split into 2 homes. The first half, consisting of four rooms, kitchen, scullery, and large hall, was occupied by Mr David Naismith, a butcher, with his wife and family.

The other half was occupied by Mr Joseph Clyde, with his wife and seven of a family. The latter party had a sub-tenant named Bernard Donnelly with his wife and three young children.

The outbreak was discovered when a servant girl in the Naismith household returned from an errand and was unable to enter the house owing to the flames and dense smoke.

The flames spread with alarming rapidity, and when the Cambuslang detachmcnt of the Lanarkshire County Fire Brigade arrived they found that the villa was well alight with the flames bursting through the roof, and the interior a raging furnace.

There was considerable danger of the flames spreading to the adjoining villas, but the firemen were successful in confining the flames to the villa of origin. So alarming was the outbreak that tenants in the vicinity commenced removing their household goods.

The Donnelly family lost their all. The Clyde family only saved their kitchen furniture, and the Naismith family only saved a few articles from their drawing room. The insurance covered all the furniture valuing that at £1200, (about £68,000 in todays money!) and the damage to the property was around £600.(about £34,000 today)

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016

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