A NEIGHBOUR has told how he desperately tried to raise the alarm as a fatal fire raged through a building in Gourock claiming a senior citizen's life.

Twenty-five-year-old Ruaridh Marshall was still awake and in his room one flight up in the Albert Road building in the early hours of last Saturday when he started to smell smoke.

He rushed around his flat checking before realising it was coming from elsewhere.

As their smoke alarm started tbeeping he woke up his sister and began banging on other doors in the buildings.

Tragically his neighbour 68-year-old Frank Sharp lost his life in the fire.

It was the second fatal fire in Inverclyde within hours as another man also died in a blaze at Inverkip Road in Greenock.

Former student Ruaridh said: "I just did what I could to try to wake get people up.

"At first I thought there was something in my house, like I had left the computer on in the living room.

"I woke up my sister, then I went upstairs and next door as well.

"Our smoke alarm went off but it was the only one I heard.

"There was a lot of confusion during the night and we didn't know who was in or out.

"By this time there were flames coming out of the fire and the firefighters were rushing around."

Ruaridh moved into the flats five years ago with his sister Kerry and mum Lorraine.

Lorraine, 50, who works at the Wemyss Bay Caravan Park, wants to raise awareness of the importance of smoke alarms.

The family's flat was not badly damaged and they were able to move back in after a couple of days.

Lorraine, who was not in on the night it happened, said: "We had one of the home visits from the firefighters and I think it is important especially if you live in flats.

"The fire service does a great job and risk their own lives to help others."

Lorraine and her family have paid tribute to Mr Sharp following the tragedy.

She told the Telegraph: "Frank was a lovely neighbour.

"It is so terribly sad."