Fire threatens to destroy church as blaze engulfs it for second time

A huge plume of smoke billowed into the sky from the former St Andrew's Church in Alexandria on Saturday evening.

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Firefighters are tackling a large blaze at a former church in West Dunbartonshire for the second time in a week.

St Andrew’s Church in Alexandria was engulfed in flames on Saturday evening with a huge plume of smoke billowing into the sky above the town.

The fire broke out on Main Street at around 7.29pm, and the road has been closed by emergency services.

Two fire engines and a high reach appliance were mobilised and firefighters were still tackling the blaze more than an hour later.

The building, which closed as a place of worship in 1995, has been derelict since 2012.

Last year, charity Viresco Studios was awarded a £750,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund to transform the B-Listed former St Andrew’s Church into a multi-use arts venue and creative work space.

Emergency services were called to a previous fire at the building on Easter Sunday.

The leader of West Dunbartonshire council Jonathan McColl said the blaze on Saturday looked “much worse” than the last time.