Reward of £10,000 in probe over firefighter wall collapse

Andrew Adams with left with life-changing injuries after the incident in Greenock.

Andrew Adams: Firefighter with long-term partner and his son and daughter.

Andrew Adams: Firefighter with long-term partner and his son and daughter.

A reward of £10,000 has been offered as part of the probe into a blaze that caused a wall to collapse on a firefighter.

Andrew Adams, 49, suffered life-changing injuries and is still in hospital four months after a wall landed on him as he was tackling a blaze in a former social club in Greenock, Inverclyde.

Fire crews were called to the blaze at a former masonic club in Inverclyde, in the early hours of Thursday.

Watch manager Adams was among 24 firefighters involved in fighting the inferno at the former Larkfield Masonic Club on Auchmead Road in the early hours of Thursday, August 25.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service immediately launched a “detailed internal investigation”.

Now, charity Crimestoppers have offered a £10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the fire.

Angela Parker, Scotland national manager for Crimestoppers, said: “A brave father, who was just doing his job protecting the lives of others, has been left with serious injuries.

“Whilst he remains in hospital his family, friends and colleagues have been rallying round to support him by fundraising to assist with his long-term rehabilitation.

“We are now playing our part by offering a substantial reward to help find whoever was involved in this crime. They must be brought to justice.”

Mr Adams joined the service in 1989 as a retained firefighter in Greenock and became a full-time firefighter in 1992 at Paisley before being promoted to a crew manager in 2001 and transferring to Ardrossan in Ayrshire.

He then joined Greenock Community Fire Station as a watch manager where he is operational commander for Group 4.

He has a daughter, Hannah, 22, and son Darren, 13, with partner of 25 years, Clare Linning, who is a nurse.

Blaze: Fire vehicle outside former Larkfield Masonic Club. STV

Blaze: Fire vehicle outside former Larkfield Masonic Club. STV

Ms Linning released a statement at the time praising her partner and thanking members of the public for messages of support.

An online crowd funding campaign for launched and has reached over £17,000 in donations.

Ms Linning said: “Andy is a wonderful partner and a fantastic father. He is not only a committed firefighter but a real community spirit who has enjoyed working with young people through his involvement in the Prince’s Trust and a local cycling project.

“As a family, we are pulling together at this very difficult time with the help of each other, our friends and Andy’s colleagues from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“We have been overwhelmed with messages of support and we are taking great comfort from them.”

A month before the fire, Inverclyde Council refused a planning application to change the use of the derelict social club to a restaurant.

The proposals, by local businessman Halminder Lalley, were rejected by the council as it judged they would have a “detrimental effect”on the local, primarily residential, area.

As part of Mr Lalley’s application, his representative stated in correspondence with the council that the Larkfield Masonic Association had “run into financial difficulties”, leading to the closure of the club in 2015.

Destroyed: Emergency services attend fire at former masonic club. STV

Destroyed: Emergency services attend fire at former masonic club. STV