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18 August 2017, 08:07
Traders are returning to work in part of a Glasgow produce market hit by a large fire.
More than 70 firefighters were needed to bring the blaze under control at Blochairn Fruit Market in the early hours of Thursday.
Employees at the market were safely evacuated but sales and deliveries of fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers to businesses across the country were badly hit and there was a warning of a knock-on effect for businesses across the west of Scotland.
Part of the building was untouched by the flames and traders were allowed to return on Thursday evening.
City Property, which owns the building, said it was working to find other temporary sites for the units damaged by the fire.
''Temporary sites have been identified to allow those tenants directly affected to continue trading as close to business as normal as possible, with the west warehouse within the markets site immediately available," a spokesman said.
''We will continue to explore a short-term arrangement at a nearby site to provide additional space.''
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said a ''good proportion'' of the two-storey building survived and Deputy Assistant Chief Officer John Joyce praised the work of crews.
Maureen Brogan, from traders J&P Brogan, said her units survived the fire but all traders will now need to ''try and help each other''.
On Thursday she said: ''Thank God no-one has been injured, that is number one.
''We are actually one of the lucky ones, our units have not been touched. There are people who literally have nothing left and there will be people wondering if they have a job left.
''I genuinely feel for the other traders who have woken up to nothing.''
Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney said the market is vital to the area, employing around 400 people.
''It is a key part of our economy, turning over £250 million worth of produce a year," he said.
''I will be working closely with Glasgow City Council and City Property to ensure we protect the employees and traders and try to find temporary accommodation nearby for the businesses which have lost their premises.
Scotland's Economy Secretary Keith Brown is also working to minimise disruption.
He said: '''It is a relief to see no injuries have been reported and I would like to thank the emergency services for their quick response and hard work in effectively dealing with what was a major fire.
''However, we recognise it is a hugely worrying time for traders and businesses and our officials have been in contact with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Markets and Scottish Enterprise who have confirmed that urgent steps are being taken to minimise any disruption to trading.''