A WEST FIFE charity involved in the restoration project of the Glasgow School of Art watched on in horror as the iconic building was engulfed in flames.

The team from the Scottish Lime Centre Trust were glued to their TV screens as an intense blaze ripped through the historic Mackintosh Building for the second time in the space of four years.

The £35 million project to bring the venue back to its former glory had almost been completed after the first fire in May 2014, with a reopening pencilled in for spring next year.

However, another large fire broke out on June 15, with 120 firefighters and 20 fire engines called out to tackle the inferno.

The trust, based in Charlestown, had been offering expert advice such as building material analysis during the restoration.

Roz Artis, director, told the Press: “It was devastating to watch. I was in disbelief at the horror of it all.

“It’s totally awful. Our Whatsapp group chat was melting.

“You just ask yourself, ‘how could this happen twice?’ I know the project’s co-ordinator, Liz Davidson, and I know what she’ll be feeling right now.”

The trust will likely be consulted in any future restoration following the latest fire.

Roz added: “I would have thought we’ll be involved again. A large amount of the new construction has been lost.

“I think that with all the research that’s available, any plans going forward will follow original designs and remain a faithful representation.”

The trust has been providing specialist advice and training for the conservation and repair of Scotland’s historical buildings for nearly 25 years.

Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville praised the work of the centre during a recent tour.

She met trainees who showcased their skills in traditional masonry repair, before commenting on the trust’s role in helping the Glasgow School of Art since 2014’s blaze.

Ms Somerville commented: “The Lime Centre was integral to the restoration of the Glasgow School of Art following the fire in 2014.

“I had the pleasure of seeing that work first-hand when I visited Glasgow School of Art in May. It’s a real tragedy that this work has been undone by the fire.”