An accidental fire which claimed the life of a St Leonards pensioner has rocked the East Kilbride community.
Widow Euphemia Coats, 78, died in the early hours of Thursday morning when a blaze ripped through her ground floor flat in Glen Moy.
Shocked neighbours described the church-goer, known locally as Fay, as a “lovely and caring” lady who “would do anything for anybody.” They said the mother-of-one, who was originally from Coatbridge, lived alone but was cared for by many relatives in the town. Devastated family members were too upset to comment.
The tragedy happened 11 days after 10 people were evacuated from a deliberate blaze in an adjacent block of flats in Glen Moy on November 4. Police confirmed the incidents were not connected.
Firefighters arrived within minutes after being alerted to the four-storey block on November 15 around 6.30am. The News understand Mrs Coats’ next door neighbours tried in vain to save her before fire crews arrived. Eight other residents were led to safety from the burning building with three people treated at Hairmyres Hospital for smoke inhalation.
Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said there were no suspicious circumstances. A full report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.
Station Commander Jim Anderson of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said: “Four firefighters donned breathing apparatus and entered the burning flat, with two hose reel jets to search for the occupant and extinguish the fire. The crews very quickly found the body of a person inside. Eight residents were led to safety by firefighters with three attending hospital due to slight smoke inhalation.”
An investigation will be conducted into the cause of the fire. A post mortem was expected to be carried out yesterday (Tuesday). The funeral will be on Friday at 1pm in Daldowie Crematorium, near Uddingston.