The headteachers of two Renfrewshire schools have paid tribute to pupils following a fatal fire in Gallowhill in Paisley at the weekend.
Fiona Gibson, 12, and her brothers Alexander, eight, and Philip, five, died at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow following a blaze at their home in Renfrew Road.
The children’s mother, 39-year-old Julie Daley, remains in a critical condition in the Royal Alexander Hospital in Paisley.
Julie McCallum, Headteacher at Mary Russell School where Fiona, 12 was a pupil, said: “Our school community is deeply saddened by the tragic news of yesterday.
“Words cannot express the sadness we are feeling. Fiona was a wee shining light in our Mary Russell family and to lose three young lives in this way is devastating for everyone. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all affected by this tragedy at this very sad time.”
The younger children, Alexander, 8 and Philip, 5 attended St Catherine’s Primary School.
Emma Henry, Headteacher at St Catherine’s, said: “We are truly saddened by the loss of Alexander and Philip. They were both full of energy and such an important part of our school.
“Both boys loved the outdoors and frequently talked about their regular visits to the park. They never ceased to make us smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.”
Local politicians also shared their sadness at what happened. Councillor Jim Paterson, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s education and children’s services policy board, and one of the areas councillors, said: “We are devastated to lose three young pupils in this tragic fire.”
“The loss of young life is heartbreaking and our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends and the firefighters who attended.
“We will be offering ongoing support wherever possible to those involved.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also paid tribute to the children as she sent her condolences to the family.
She said: “No words are enough. It’s just heartbreaking. My thoughts are with all who loved these poor children. Fiona, Alexander and Philip – may you rest in peace.”
Gavin Newlands, the areas MP, said yesterday: Utterly heartbreaking news about the tragic loss of three innocent young children, Fiona, Alexander and Philip Gibson, in last night’s fire in Gallowhill.
“May they rest in peace.”
He added: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and family at this deeply difficult time. It is impossible to imagine what they must be going through.
“There is a joint investigation underway by the Police and Fire Service. If anyone has any information, no matter how trivial they may think it, please get in touch with the Police.
“Lastly, can I thank each and every one of the Emergency service personnel for their work in what must have been an absolutely horrendous incident to deal with at the time.”