DEMOLITION crews have taken down unsafe parts of the Greenock town centre building which was gutted in a huge fire last week.

Following a fierce fire at Wilson's Storage and Removals in Jamaica Street, building standards experts declared the building dangerous following an assessment of its structural stability.

Officials say they were in liaison with the property owner and tenant before instructing a partial demolition.

Fencing was put in place to protect the public from any potential collapse and to secure the site.

A spokesman for Inverclyde Council said: "The reason for partial demolition is to remove the risk of collapse due to damage caused by the fire and the potential impact on the public, neighbouring and adjoining properties of full or partial collapse of the property."

Road closures in the area have remained in place while demolition crews are still on site, with people asked to avoid Jamaica Street.

Homes and neighbouring businesses had to be evacuated because of the fire and the final residents who had been displaced were able to return home at the weekend after power was restored to their flats.

Inverclyde’s police and fire scrutiny convener, Councillor Tommy McVey, has sent his thanks to the emergency responders who dealt with the major incident.

He said: “The fire has caused substantial damage to the building.

"While the town itself will have the scar from the fire itself for a long time to come, we are all thankful that no one was hurt or worse.

“Our emergency services have responded quickly, professionally and in a way that made sure everyone’s needs were accommodated in this difficult incident.

“The first responders attending the scene from our fire and rescue and police services deserve our thanks and recognition for the manner and speed of their response.

"The council services from roads, building control, civil contingencies and social work have also stepped up to make sure residents and emergency services are fully supported.

"On behalf of the council I would also like to thank the residents and businesses for supporting the emergency response even when it had meant some measure of inconvenience while work was being carried out to fight the fire”