FED-up residents in Gourock are launching a fightback against yobs who are making their lives a misery.

A group of community-minded individuals from Tower Drive have decided to unite and take a stand after a series of incidents in their neighbourhood.

The final straw was a blaze, believed to have been started by teenagers, within a close, pictured right, which put people’s lives at risk.

The disturbing incident provoked widespread alarm in the area and now residents want the police, housing and education chiefs to help them stamp out anti-social behaviour.

A meeting was held last night where ordinary people living in the area told police and housing bosses about the worrying decline on their doorstep.

Gourock councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld and local campaigners now want to use the incidents to transform Tower Drive

The chairwoman of the newly formed Tower Drive Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, Geraldine Harron, told the Tele: “We want the fire in the close to be a turning point.

“People were devastated that this could happen.

“They are worried about their security, they can’t sleep at night.

“We have a great community here.

“We care about each other and we look after one another. We want something positive out of this.”

The fire in Tower Drive is believed to have been caused by school pupils loitering in the close next to the shops.

A 16-year-old boy had to be treated in hospital for smoke inhalation after bravely trying to put out the blaze himself.

People living in the block had continually complained about the lack of security, with youngsters repeatedly able to enter the close and hang about there.

In recent years there has been growing concern in the Tower Drive area about anti-social behaviour, security in closes and the general state of houses in the area.

Geraldine added: “People just want to live in a house free of damp with a secure door and a safe community.

“When you think about it that fire probably caused about £30,000 of damage – what would it have cost if they had fixed the door properly in the first place?

“We want to work with people to make this a better place to live.”

In the aftermath of the fire Councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld hit out at the people responsible.

Today he called for action to get the neighbourhood back on track.

Councillor Ahlfeld said: “We want everyone to work together.

“We are hoping to use a shop so people can come and have somewhere to log their complaints with the tenants’ and residents’ association.”

Lynne Quinn, of Gourock Community Council, added: “We want to work together, do something positive and come up with answers.”

Detectives are continuing to investigate the wilful fire-raising incident and anyone with information about it should call Greenock CID on 101.