FAMILIES have been left destitute after firebugs targeted homes for a third time in 48 hours.

Residents in Priesthill stood in the street in tears yesterday as fire fighters tackled the blaze on Ravenscraig Drive around 5am.

Children and elderly residents are among those who have now been made homeless after the blaze, which started in the ground floor close of the block of flats.

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It quickly spread to the first and second floors, with fire crews rescuing 12 people- including three children - from the building.

The flats are so badly smoke damaged that residents can no longer live there.

A pensioner was treated with oxygen by paramedics, while two others were also checked by medical staff.

Yesterday afternoon police and the fire service held an emergency meeting to discuss the latest spate of blazes. and officers have now increased their patrols in the area.

It comes just a day after two homes on nearby Linnhead Drive were targeted, with residents telling the Evening Times they feared for their lives.

Police are investigating the possibility the crimes are linked.

A resident in the Ravenscraig block told of how she has been left with no clothes to wear and nowhere to stay after yesterday’s fire.

She said: “I fell asleep on my couch and I woke up with the whole house full of smoke.

“I tried to get out but I was trapped. I had to go right out the living room window.

“I just thought about how I couldn’t get out and I had to get out.

“I didn’t know what to do. I left with nothing. I’ve got no clothes or anything with me.”

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George Chapman, 39, lives nearby with his wife and two teenage daughters.

He said: “ I’ve been living here for 20 years with a mortgage and now we’re never going to be able to sell the house.

“The area is dilapidated, the buildings are a mess. Something needs to be done.”

Chief Inspector Simon Jeacocke, Area Commander for Govan and Pollok, said the council’s Community Safety services, andd the fire service are working with police to help protect the area,.

He said:”There have been a number of wilful fires in the area in the last few weeks and whilst it is too early to confirm that they are linked, it is obviously causing some distress to the local community.

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“I will be ensuring that additional police patrols are in the area to reassure these residents and working together with our partners at Scottish Fire and Rescue and Glasgow Community Safety Services to ensure that measures are put in place to reduce the opportunity for these crimes being committed.

“I would urge anyone with information to contact us on 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”