The blaze happened when an upstairs storage heater malfunctioned and caught fire. Fortunately a skylight in the roof above blew out releasing the intense heat and smoke. This has saved the building from more extensive damage and a possible total loss.
However there has been considerable water, smoke and heat damage to the Association’s trophy room and also the area used by contest stewards to store their equipment.
On the positive side the office area of the Headquarters building is operational with little or no damage, though early today there was no gas or electricity power nor any internet connection.
No band, adjudicator or competition records have been affected by the fire. In addition all the work for Saturday’s AGM has been completed and the meeting will go ahead as normal.
RSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton (left) who was on site immediately he heard of the outbreak said: ‘We have a sophisticated IT system so even if our computers had been destroyed we would still have had a full backup of all Association documents and information.
‘The damage to the building has fortunately been limited though some roof timbers and a few doors will have to be repaired, but the full extend of the damage will not be known until a full assessment has been carried out.
‘The fire department have told me that we were lucky in that had the skylight not blown then we could have lost the whole building. The situation will present us with some challenges over the next few weeks but nothing that is insurmountable. I would like to thank the firefighters who attended the blaze so quickly and acted so professionally to bring the fire under control. We are very grateful to them.
‘Building control have ruled that it is safe for us to use the building and our next priority is to make it secure.’
The RSPBA have already drawn up plans to re-develop their building in Washington Street and are actively pursuing a number of funding options.
Scottish Television reported: ‘Firefighters have tackled a large blaze at a bagpipe band headquarters in Glasgow city centre. Emergency services were called to the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association building on Washington Street near the Broomielaw at 4am on Friday. Around 30 firefighters battled the blaze for an hour, bringing it under control by 5am.
‘Eight crew members entered the building wearing breathing gear, while others fought the fire outside using water jets. A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: ‘We arrived to discover the fire affecting the roof of the two-storey building.It was attacked externally by two powerful water jets as eight firefighters entered the building dressed in protective breathing apparatus to eventually bring it under control by 4.56am. The fire has now been extinguished. There are no casualties and firefighters remain at the scene damping down.’