Glasgow School of Art is suing the company that installed the fire alarm at the world-renowned Mackintosh building before it was destroyed in a second devastating blaze.
The art school has also launched legal action against the architects of the £35 million restoration of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh masterpiece following the first fire.
An art school insider said: “It is possible there will be further actions. It is unlikely that these will be the only ones.”
Meanwhile, two years on, investigators are still sifting through debris to discover the cause of the fire. It is estimated the rebuilding of the Mackintosh building will cost at least £100 million.
Now the art school has raised an action at the Court of Session against Glasgow firm Arrest Fire & Security. According to the company’s website, it installed intruder alarms, fire systems and CCTV at the art school, including the Mackintosh building.
A spokesman for Arrest Fire & Security Ltd said: “We will be defending the legal action by Glasgow School of Art in court. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”
The art school has also lodged an action against architects Page\Park, who led the design of the £35 million restoration of the Mack following the first fire in 2014.
In 2018, architect David Paton told the Scottish Parliament culture committee ventilation ducts that allowed the art school fire in 2014 to take hold were still in place when a second blaze broke out four years later. The committee criticised the art school in its report last year for not giving enough priority to safeguarding the Mack against fire.
Residents living near the art school have said they did not hear a fire alarm go off on the night of the second blaze, and firefighters said they believed the blaze started up to an hour before it was reported.
The Holyrood committee said it was not in a position to determine whether it was switched on and fully operational, and said this would be considered as part of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s investigation.
“It is not possible at present to provide a definitive timescale for the investigation being concluded, and we would like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience as we continue with this significant fire investigation.”
Both cases were listed on the Court of Session roll as being the Glasgow School of Art versus the two firms, but an art school spokeswoman said the actions were by its insurers.
She said: “The GSA is fully aware of the actions raised by the insurers and it is a standard procedure which they are entitled to undertake. This process is to recover documents before time bar.”
Page\Park architects were unavailable for comment.
West Dunbartonshire Arts and Heritage reported on social media this week that on 22nd August 1900 Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, a distinguished artist, and world renowned architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh were married in St Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Dumbarton. There is no truth in the rumour that the Rev Kenny Macaulay conducted the service.
In the two weeks that the couple were apart in their marriage they wrote to each other every day. West Dunbartonshire Council doesn’t think they are anyone special. When Rose Harvie, the campaigner who has done so much for the town, raised the prospect of marking the couple’s Dumbarton connections publicly with a blue plaque or whatever – Margaret lived at Bowling for a time – Bailie Denis Agnew, our hinger on Arts and Culture convener who is supposed to be Independent but uses his vote in the council to keep the SNP in power told her that they weren’t famous enough for that. It’s little wonder then that West Dunbartonshire Council is a joke.
Arts and Culture convener Bailie Denis Agnew and St Augustine’s Church in Dumbarton High Street.