FAMILIES forced to evacuate their flats with just the “clothes on their back” after a fire ripped through their block are still waiting to return home, months later.

Residents who live at Muirbrae Way in Rutherglen say they have not been able to access their homes since April 14 and have no idea if any of their belongings survived the blaze.

The families have been placed in temporary accommodation by their insurers, but claim that South Lanarkshire Council, the building’s factors, who also own one property in the building, have failed to keep them informed about the condition of their possessions or when they might be able to return home.

Gordon Stewart, told The Evening Times: “Everything I own is in that flat. Our passports, deeds to the house, everything.”

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He said his family of three were given just £750 by insurers to buy new clothes after they were left with only the items they fled in.

The fire is believed to have broken out on the top floor of the building and left a large hole in the roof.

Residents of Muirbrae Way, Rutherglen, say this has left it vulnerable to further, weather damage, as well as an infestation of pigeons.

They questioned why a tarpaulin has not been placed over the roof to protect their homes.

Kelly Scullion, said: “This is eight weeks down the line. I don’t understand, why have they not covered it up.

“It’s getting worse-beyond-worse with Scottish weather, the wind, the rain.

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“You just see the pigeons flying back and forwards, you see all the poo, look at what happened at the Queen Elizabeth (Hospital), pigeon poo is one of the worst.

“The council should go in, put some sort of supports up, let us get in and see what we’ve got left.

“Our insurance have heard nothing, we’re just in limbo, we’re left with the clothes on my back.”

Another resident, Jane Macvicar added: “We’ve not had any sort of report, any sort of answers, nothing.”

Ms Macvicar explained the impact of the fire has traumatised her young children.

“My youngest was having nightmares after the fire, she was having nightmares and screaming.

“The fire brigade had to tell her she couldn’t go back in, she was traumatised at the time, she was wanting to get in and get her toys,” she said.

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One family with a toddler were housed in a hotel for six weeks, according to neighbours.

Ms Macvicar said: “We feel like we’ve been victimised, we’ve had absolutely no help from the council.

“The council were as much use as a chocolate teapot - they said don’t call us we’ll call you.

“There’s no compassion, there’s no consideration, they just cannot wait to get you off the phone.”

South Lanarkshire Council told The Evening Times a tarpaulin could not be placed over the roof as it had been assessed to be “unsafe” by a structural engineer.

Daniel Lowe, the executive director of Housing and Technical Resources for the council, said: “The Council now has the structural engineer’s report and is in the process of appointing a contractor to make the building safe to access.

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“The contractor will then provide a timescale for completion of these initial works.

“Unfortunately, due to the extent of the damage, this may take a number of weeks and the full repairs to the block may take some months to be fully complete.”

Mr Lowe added each of the home owners in the building have been contacted to update them on what is required to make the building safe.

But residents, some of whom have lived in the building for 15 years, told The Evening Times the Council has failed to keep them informed and they have no idea when they will be able to return home.