Arrest made after six people rescued by firefighters during Coatbridge tower block blaze

Six people were rescued by firefighters after a blaze ripped through a top floor flat at a tower block in North Lanarkshire - with a 17-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) mobilised 14 appliances - including specialist and height vehicles - to Coatbridge's High Coats multi-storey in Coats Street at around 1.30pm on Monday.

The SFRS said six people were rescued from the tower using fire hoods and were handed into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The ambulance service, which also dispatched multiple resources including a trauma team, said the patients were "treated and released at the scene".

The flames have since been extinguished, with the SFRS saying emergency workers will remain in attendance for "some time" as they continue to make the area safe.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "A 17-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident. Enquiries are ongoing."

North Lanarkshire Council said the building's concierge office alerted the SFRS when the flat's smoke alarm was activated.

'No alarms went off'

Resident Andrew Mearns told Sky News that he was unaware of the fire until he heard a crowd gather in front of the flats.

Mr Mearns, who lives on the 13th floor, said: "No [building-wide] alarms went off at all. I heard commotion out the front of the flats and could see everyone pointing up.

"I opened up my window and it was the lady at the flower shop below that told me there was a fire above me. Nobody had a clue, nobody was informed.

"I contacted the concierge. The concierge said 'stay in your flat, everything will be okay'.

"I opened up my front door and the whole landing was full of smoke. You could hardly see. Basically that was it, it was time to go, time to get out."

Mr Mearns, who has lived at High Coats for eight years, said there's been several fires in the building during his time there.

Residents oblivious to fire

He escaped to his parents' house two miles away in "a pair of slippers, a pair of shorts and a jumper", and is hoping there's no serious water or smoke damage to his property on his return.

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Fellow resident David Shaw, who has lived at the tower block since 2016, also found out about the blaze due to the audience outside.

He told Sky News that he had been taking a bath and then could smell the fire when he opened a window within his 11th floor flat.

Mr Shaw was also told to remain in his property by the concierge.

He followed the official instruction and did not panic, saying: "It didn't bother me in the slightest, but that's just my personality."

The building is home to many Ukrainian refugees who fled to Scotland due to the war with Russia.

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: "The smoke alarms were activated and a staff member immediately contacted the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who were quickly on the scene.

"The advice provided to our tenants is in line with the national policy agreed with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, which states that those not directly affected by the fire should remain in their flat - behind their fire door - unless told otherwise."