Great Britain

Glasgow cancer patient still waiting to get back into her home – 9 months after it was damaged by a tanning salon fire

A CANCER patient has been waiting nine months to get back into her beloved home which was damaged after a fire ravaged the tanning salon below.

Alexis Harwood, 68, claims housing officers promised she’d be able to return to her flat in the Shettleston area of Glasgow, within “a matter of weeks” after the November inferno - but is still holed up in temporary sheltered housing.

The retired carer, who longs to be reunited with her fiancé who lived next door to her, said: “I’m absolutely miserable.

“I’m still recovering from the operation I had last month and I can’t even be in my own home of ten years. All of the shops below and flat around the salon are finished - why has mine been left to last? I’ll be dead before I’m back.”

We told how mercy crews raced to Body Bronzing on Shettleston Road on November 5.

Seven fire appliances were scrambled to the horror fire as they battled the blaze.

Alexis told how she and her neighbours - including her beloved fiance Charles Cavin, 74, who lived next door - managed to escape the tea-time fire uninjured.

'EVERYTHING WAS DESTROYED'

She said: “There was smoke everywhere, it was pretty scary and we had to move fast.

“I left there with the pyjamas on my back - and have lost everything else because of all the smoke damage.

“They left the windows open for months to air the place out, so everything was destroyed with rain and sleet over the winter months.”

She blasted Shettleston Housing Association for their “terrible” comunication.

She said: “I feel badly let down. I agreed to live in another flat because they said it would only be for a matter of weeks. The weeks have turned into months - and now soon we’ll be into a year.

“Supposedly they blame the delays of replacing everything ‘like for like’ but I doubt they’ll be putting in the £400 blinds I had in there.

“They’ve been absolutely terrible in keeing in touch with me. I keep leaving messages because I can never get through to anyone.

“They won’t even tell me who the insurance company is, so I can try and claim for any of my belongings that I lost.

“I’m anxious and desperately just want answers. I need to be back living next to my fiance, especially with all I’m going through with my cancer.”

A Shettleston Housing Association spokesman said the length of time was simply down to the extensive work needing to be done, including stripping out the full flat, renewing all floors and some partition walls.

And since the work required specialist input from architects and structural engineers, a building warrant was needed before works could commence.

He added: “All of this - combined with the impact of the Covid restrictions - have unfortunately resulted in Ms Harwood having to be out of her home for a considerable period of time.

“We understand that this would be very upsetting at any time but particularly so during the pandemic.

“Our staff have maintained very regular contact with Ms Harwood throughout to keep her informed of developments.

“The works are still ongoing at this point but will shortly complete and we very much look forward to her being able to move back into her own home.”

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