A perimeter fence has been put up around a Dundee marketplace and gym which were gutted by fire.
Gary Gallagher, a former trader at Hilltown Indoor Market, has worked “tirelessly” over the past few months to get the building reopened as a charitable venture selling and donating furniture.
He visited the site on Thursday as a safety fence was erected to secure the perimeter of the area by Dundee City Council.
An investigation is still ongoing into Wednesday’s fire, which was the third blaze to hit Dundee in as many nights. Braeview Academy and a farm building at Strathmartine also went up in flames the previous two evenings.
Council chiefs were still working with Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to establish the causes of the fires, as well as a contingency plan for pupils at the secondary school.
Gary described the fire as a “livelihood-destroying scenario” for people at the market and staff of the neighbouring Fit4Less gym.
He said: “There is a security fence now up to secure the building.
“Part of that is to make sure that nobody goes in to the building and is injured.
“At this stage we are still in the dark about how much damage has been caused.
“There will be a lot of involvement from insurers and the building owners will be consulted. From our point of view, it’s as big a setback as you can imagine because we were weeks from reopening.”
The market building is owned by a property firm on Torridon Road, Broughty Ferry.
Gary added: “Any furniture or items in the market will either be damaged by the fire or the heat and water, I would expect.
“It’s a livelihood-destroying scenario when you consider the staff who are employed at the gym as well.”
Gordon Stevenson, owner and franchisee at Fit4Less, praised the emergency services for their effort and said the future of the gym was also still to be determined.
Police closed surrounding roads including Thistle Street, Main Street, Dens Road and Isla Street during the blaze.
There were 12 fire appliances in attendance, as well as a command support unit and an incident support unit.
Inspector Cath Lannen said: “Inquiries are at an early stage and we will work jointly with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to establish the cause of the blaze.
“The building has been extensively damaged. There are road closures still in place at Caldrum Street and Thistle Street and I would like to thank motorists for their patience while this is ongoing.”
Dundee City Council was approached for comment but hadn’t responded at the time of going to press.