The investigation into the devastating Glasgow School of Art fire is moving into its “final phases,” but there is no set timescale for the completion of the “challenging” work, with hundreds of tonnes of debris still to be removed.
The world-renowned building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, was extensively damaged when a fire broke out late on 15 June last year. The blaze ravaged the A-listed structure at a time when it was undergoing a £35m restoration following a previous fire in May 2014.
Already, some 400 tonnes of fire debris has been removed from the site, with two sectors of the building examined by fire inspectors.
David Dourley, the SFRS group manager, said: “We have already undertaken two examinations within the Glasgow School of Art and are now turning towards the final phases, which will be challenging due to the significant volume of debris which requires to be removed.”
SFRS assistant chief officer Ross Haggart said: “We are conscious that we are now approaching the one-year milestone of this devastating event that resonated not only here in Scotland but across the world.
“The damage to the Mackintosh Building was far greater than the fire incident in 2014 and the impact on the building has complicated the investigative process.
“Nonetheless, a number of detailed examinations at key areas of the site have been undertaken following the removal of 400 tonnes of fire debris.
“But a significant volume of fire debris remains within the site and we will work alongside the on-site contractors to have this removed with a view to undertaking further examinations.”
He added: “The fire investigation remains focused on likely origin and cause - but against the backdrop of an unprecedented large-scale fire scene within a complex and challenging site.
The investigation to date has also scrutinised hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and taken witness statements. It has also reviewed 70 pieces of information, such as photographs and video footage, supplied by the public.
More than 120 firefighters battled last June’s fire, which also destroyed the O2 ABC music venue.