Looks like the front of the Gusset building will be saved. Motorist misery Key route into city to remain closed in bid to save landmark Co-op building
23 Jan 2012
A MAIN route into Glasgow city centre will remain closed while demolition work is completed at a fire-ravaged building.
Motorists have been warned that diversions, put in place eight weeks ago after fire ripped through the former Co-operative Funeral Care building in Morrison Street, Tradeston, will not be lifted until next month.
It has also been discovered a part of the listed building, which was made up of three sections, can now be saved.
Several streets in the area are closed except for local access, with traffic being diverted away from Paisley Road towards nearby Seaward Street.
Nor is there any access to the city centre from junction 21 of the M8 eastbound, which remains closed.
It could be next month before Paisley Road reopens
It was originally thought the entire building would have to be demolished, but once work started it emerged one structure would no longer need to be pulled down.
The distinctive clock-front facade now appears to have been saved.
Fire broke out at the former Co-operative Funeral Service building on November 28, leading to nearby roads being cordoned off.
Glasgow City Council is in talks with Belfast-based owners Benmore Developments over the site. A council spokesman said: “It is a complex situation of three buildings in one. Two are virtually demolished, but it seems the third section can now be saved.
“However, we cannot allow the road to reopen until we are satisfied the structure and the area is safe.
“We want to open the road as soon as possible, but it looks like it will be February before Paisley Road can be used again.”
It is also taking some time for the site to be cleared because materials have to be separated before they are disposed of.
In the meantime, resurfacing work has been carried out on a section of Paisley Road while restrictions are in place. It is part of planned roadworks for the area.
Householders and office workers were evacuated after the fire on November 28, in which flames leapt 100ft into the air.
A team of about 100 firefighters tackled the blaze, which brought evening rush-hour traffic to a standstill as it sent clouds of thick smoke billowing across the Kingston Bridge.
Recalling the fire, 22-year-old resident Maria Storr, told how she was out shopping when she got a call from a friend to tell her the building was on fire.
She said: “I was only gone for about an hour when my friend called … she had to abandon her car.
“Firefighters stopped her and told her she had to leave her car because there were embers falling all over the place.
“It looked like a volcano had erupted.”
Another resident, Alasdair Longford, 25, said: “At first it was just smoke and we saw the fire engines arrive, but within about 15 minutes the whole place was engulfed in flames.”
Senior fire officers said the blaze was one of the worst fires in the city centre in 10 years.
Residents were later allowed back into their homes but roads around the building have been subject to closure and diversions since the blaze.