The impact of a huge fire that spread through six homes was made worse by budget cuts, a union has said.

Emergency crews including firefighters and cops raced to Whitelee in East Kilbride on Friday evening following reports of a blaze.

Six homes were evacuated as a result of the fire. 

Glasgow Times:

Although there were thankfully no injuries, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has claimed that cuts to resources meant that firefighters were delayed in reaching the scene. 

At the time of the incident, both of East Kilbride's appliances were unavailable as they were at training near Edinburgh.

Glasgow Times:

In this instance, a local station such as Hamilton or Castlemilk would provide an appliance on stand-by but both of them had their second engines removed recently in the latest round of cuts.

With no stand-by pump available from East Kilbride, appliances arrived at the scene later, giving the fire more time to take hold and spread to neighbouring properties. 

Glasgow Times:

Colin Brown, FBU executive member for Scotland, said: "This fire at East Kilbride shows the appalling impact of the budget cuts being imposed on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

"The lack of second appliance cover at East Kilbride and the delay in getting crew from further afield to the scene of the fire meant that vital minutes were lost and the fire was able to spread quickly to neighbouring properties.

"Thankfully, no one was injured in this incident but delays such as this are going to get more common and the risk to life will increase if the year-on-year cuts to services that see fire appliances withdrawn and firefighter numbers cut, continue.

"The Scottish Government has to provide the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service with a budget that allows us to do our jobs properly and keep communities and business safe."

It comes after we reported that the projected budget for the service until 2027 is set to fall by £36 million.

But the Scottish Government said it was plugging more than £368 million into the service this year, an increase of £14.4 million from 2022/23.