Work could soon begin on repairs to north-east homes left devastated in a suspected gas explosion.
Fisherman Jonny Tait was rushed to hospital following the blast on Moray Road, Fraserburgh, on March 6 last year.
Witnesses saw him “staggering” out of the property moments before police and fire crews descended on the scene.
The entire road was cordoned off for several hours while they worked to extinguish the blaze which had emerged from within the property.
Large black scorch marks could be seen above its front door, while the energy from the blast had knocked the glass and fixtures from several windows.
Fire crews were needed to prop up the lintel above one of them to prevent the wall from caving in.
Bids open for repairs
Aberdeenshire Council has now opened bids for work to repair the fire and structural damage, which stretched to four homes on Moray Road.
This will also include the installation of internal wall insulation, as well as “general refurbishment and modernisation”.
The work is expected to cost around £130,000 and last for four months.
Following the blast, residents described the scene as “complete and utter mayhem”.
One said the sound of the explosion was indescribable, while another neighbour spoke of debris left strewn across the road.
It was suspected that the explosion had been caused by some sort of gas leak, and Mr Tait had told one of his friends the week previously he had noticed a smell of gas in his house.
But gas company SGN said the incident was “not related” to its gas network.
Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to undertake essential works within our empty properties as there is a requirement for us to meet our duties around allocations, homelessness and potentially have properties available for isolation cases.
“Of the four Fraserburgh properties affected by last year’s fire, three of them were inhabited at the time of the incident and all tenants have since been permanently rehoused in other properties.
“The works are expected to start in late April with an anticipated completion date of August 2021.”