A DAD-of-two has told how he raced to wake up his neighbours after fireraisers set a blaze in his stairwell.
Shaun Ramsay, of Muirhouse Park, was dozing on the sofa after returning from a night out in town when he noticed a smell of burning shortly after 3am on Sunday.
Mr Ramsay, 26, rushed to investigate, but on opening his front door he was confronted by a wall of heavy, black, acrid smoke blasting through the three-storey tenement.
He attempted to run upstairs to wake his neighbours but was forced back by the smoke.
Undeterred, he ran outside and began banging on windows and screaming in the hope his fellow residents would.
He also rang the emergency services. Fortunately, his two young daughters and his girlfriend were staying elsewhere at the time.
Mr Ramsay, who works as a part-time cleaner, has revealed that in the months leading up to the incident he repeatedly asked the council to fix the lock on his stair door.
He wanted to block access to the cupboard and bin shed where the fire was started from youths in the area who use the stairwell as a shortcut.
He said: “I’ve rang the council numerous times since August to get the lock fixed yet nothing was ever done.
“If the door is locked there’s no way in, is there?
“Teens from around the back regularly use the stairwell as a shortcut through the estate and I’ve seen them hanging about the storeroom at times.
“This could have been a lot worse. I dread to think what could have happened.
“Whoever set this fire is an idiot – everyone in the building could have died as a result.”
Firefighters arrived on the scene and extinguished the blaze within minutes thanks to Shaun’s fast actions.
No-one was injured, but a 46-year-old female neighbour was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. Mr Ramsay spent several hours in hospital with smoke inhalation.
Police are now investigating the cause of the fire which they are treating as “suspicious”.
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police responded to an address in Muirhouse Park in the early hours of Sunday, December 2 after a bin shed was set alight.
“Fortunately, no-one was injured during the incident. However, a couple of residents were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
“Anyone who can assist officers with their inquiries to trace those responsible for this fire is asked to come forward.”
A spokesman for the council said: “We will carry out a further inspection to the door lock this week and any repairs required will be treated as an emergency.”