IN his column on the latest fire at Glasgow School of Art, Kevin McKenna said Glasgow needed some answers to questions never adequately addressed after the last fire there in 2014.

On Twitter he quickly gained support, with people writing that the grief which had obscured the debate about the 2014 fire will no longer temper demands for those answers, or for any others needed to explain the latest catastrophe.

Anger, rather than grief seems to be the current mood. On Sunday afternoon, in a note to newspapers, the School of Art stated that “day-to-day management of the [Mackintosh building was] under the control of the main contractor [Kier Construction Scotland]… and not part of our operational estate”.

In other words, we were no longer responsible for it, this fire was not our fault.

The reason the Mackintosh building was a construction site last week was because of the fire in 2014, a fire for which the school (and its staff, advisers and consultants) would appear to have some responsibility.

Why is the school suddenly so defensive about the current custody of the Mackintosh building? The contractors are not erecting a new-build over which the client wouldn’t have much immediate control.

But here, the school has entrusted its most valuable possession to the contractors and should surely be exercising some oversight of what is happening to it and how it is being cared for.

Of course, it may well have deputed this responsibility to its architects, the same practice that was in control of the 2008 refurbishment.

McKenna said that answers are needed. Before that the questions need to be asked, questions arise from the redacted report into the fire prepared by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) which diligently detailed how the fire started and then spread with devastating rapidity throughout the west wing of the School in 2014.

In brief, the report traced the source of the fire to a student exhibit in a basement studio. Gases from an aerosol can of expanding foam exploded when they came into contact with the hot lamp of an adjacent projector, which had been running for three hours.

Flames and gases from the fire in the studio had been sucked up one of the ventilation shafts – effectively a chimney – that Mackintosh had provided in his design of the heating system.

It was a novel system but was abandoned 70 years ago, the victim of excessive maintenance costs. Inexplicably, wooden panels which provided access to the shaft were sitting on the floor adjacent to it. Flames did not have to burn their way into this shaft – it was already wide-open. There has never been any explanation why this should be so or who left the covers out of position.

Had they been in place the outcome might have been rather different.

The exact circumstances of the projector incident were not fully disclosed at the time.

Nor was there any clear explanation of why the fire had been able to spread so easily and rapidly, up an open duct which had no internal precautions against the spread of fire. Yet all of this was clearly explained in the SFRS report.

While some may say that these events are in the past, water under the bridge and so on, had full disclosure been made to the public at the time there would surely have been more vocal demands about the treatment of the Mackintosh building while it underwent restoration.

Although we do not know why this latest fire started, the fires at Dundee’s Morgan Academy, at Windsor Castle and Hampton Court were all caused by building work. Funds were found to fully rebuild all three.

While we may not know the cause of this fire, we do know that a continuing risk stemmed from the fire of 2014.

We also know that news management, combined with palpable grief at the losses of 2014 and the hopes for the future, meant that the true causes of the 2014 fire were never adequately disclosed. That cannot be allowed to happen again.

Sadly, last week the covers were just beginning to come off the restoration work that had transformed the blackened shell left on May 23, 2014.

Four years of research, of discovery of the original techniques, materials and finishes were going to give us a new art school.

Now we are in a worse, far worse position than we were then.

The research, however, is not lost; the knowledge gained and the old techniques honed by a new generation of craftsmen remain. Now it is going to have to start all over again – I sincerely hope so.