THE South Side community rallied round to give support and refuge to displaced residents of Albert Drive yesterday.

As firefighters continued to dampen the now-collapsed tenements above Spice Garden, residents, councillors and various members from different parts of the community gathered to offer help and guidance – including Scotland’s First Minister.

Members of the Glasgow Gurdwara opened their doors to offer food, shelter and bathroom facilities to those who had lost their homes.

SNP MSP Alison Thewliss took to Twitter to thank the Gurdwara for their support and offering free food.

Shindo Kaur, 55, is the administrative member of the Gurdwara and was one of the first people in the area, and called the local Sikh community to action.

She told the Evening Times: “We are celebrating early in the morning, as it is our Guru Nanek’s 550th Birthday celebrations so there are early celebrations. When I came through Pollokshields this morning at quarter to six, I saw the fire and was completely gobsmacked.

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“I went to find out if everyone was okay at the scene first and told the police and fire services that they could come into the Gurdwara for a cup of tea or to stay warm. I didn’t realise at that point it had started last night, I thought it just started this morning and had no idea how bad it was.

“When I came back I told everyone at the Gurdwara and we prepared for if anyone needed to come here. I informed the committee of the Sikh temple, the radio stations and the police.

“We wanted to tell people to come to the Gurdwara for anything, we have food and warmth and electricity, and bathroom facilities. We’ve had teachers come in as well and some of the emergency services.

“I heard that two of the families are in Pakistan, with only one being in the flat when the fire broke out and they were evacuated. I am just so happy that no-one was seriously hurt.”

The Glasgow Tramway also opened its doors yesterday morning at 1.50am as an acting rest centre for those who are displaced.

Jonathan Orgill, 30, who has been evacuated from his flat on Albert Drive, said that there were social work officers in the Tramway offering support and advice whilst an exclusion zone was being worked out.

At the scene of the fire on the closed off junction between Albert Drive and Keir Street, the Minister from Pollokshields Church of Scotland and other members of the church were giving out free tea and coffee to residents and passersby.

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A spokesperson from the church later commented: “We were sorry to hear about the fire in our community. Our thoughts and prayers are will all those affected.”

Individual members of the public also made an effort to help those who have been affected. Many wrote on social media groups related to the South Side that they were offering their homes as well as food and clothing, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took to Twitter to write that R:evolve Recycle clothing bank is also open and offering to help for those who have lost their homes and possessions.

The South Side community has frequently pulled together in recent weeks, particularly with regards fireworks used in displays of anti-social behaviour. Residents even organised a demonstration on Bonfire night, to stand in solidarity with the community in a bid to discourage the scenes of anti-social behaviour that lead to arrests last year.

Councillor Jon Molyneux was at the scene with his young son. Speaking exclusively to the Evening Times, he said: “I woke up to this news this morning.

“It’s obviously a devastating thing to have happened and you can see the concern in the community. It’s an amazing community in Pollokshields. Everyone is rallying round and that’s evident here, from the people taking to social media as well as the primary schools, Tramway and the Gurdwara.

“There have been various historical issues with fireworks and there was a huge community response to that last week.

“This is a strong community and that’s apparent all the time, which means when something like this happens the response will come naturally.

“The message to anybody who is affected is there is help here. Members can help in all places that I’ve mentioned.

“You don’t need to be alone and fighting the issues that you’re going to face alone through this.”