Cancer patient left homeless after blaze

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A CANCER patient whose home was destroyed in a ferocious blaze while he was in hospital is facing a race against time to find new accommodation in which to recover, his daughter has revealed.

Pebbles Robertson, 20, said her father is due to be discharged from the Western General this week, having undergone life-saving surgery to remove a tumour in his bowel.

The 66-year-old had been expecting to convalesce at his home on Waters Close, on the Shore in Leith – but those plans have been thrown into turmoil after a huge fire ripped through the property on Tuesday night sparking a major emergency operation.

Ms Robertson today said she has no idea where the pair would live and has asked for the support of the local community.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do but we can’t stay in the house, that’s impossible,” she said. “You can’t even breathe in there. There’s no kitchen or living room, everything has been ripped out and is just ruined.

“The bedrooms are completely smoke damaged and the whole house needs to be redecorated. Basically, everything needs to be chucked out and we need everything brand new. My dad has worked all his days to pay for that house and now it’s just been ruined. Last night, I was offered emergency accommodation but because I was in such a state I couldn’t even think about it.”

Ms Robertson explained that her father had been recovering from major surgery for the last fortnight and was expected to come home within days.

“Since his operation he has been in intensive care, on breathing machines and sedated,” she said. “It seemed like things were getting better because yesterday he phoned me to say he had walked up two flights of stairs and was eating again... then this happens.”

As well as destroying most of their belongings, Ms Robertson said the fire claimed the last reminders of her late mother, who died three years ago in her sleep.

“All my mum’s stuff was in the living room and they are all black,” she said. “I’ve basically lost the last of my mum as well.

“I had wee ornaments of hers and her bag, some pictures as well. They were all mementos of her and they’re gone now. ”

Ms Robertson said she was raised in their home in Waters Close and was left “devastated and lost” by the fire.

“I just need all the help and support I can get right now,” she said. “Everything’s so horrible, but I need to be strong for my dad.”

During the blaze firefighters rescued 13 people from their homes – with several plucked from high windows – as the fire took hold at around 9pm. No-one was seriously injured in the fire but seven casualties were treated for smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined but there are suggestions it was sparked by an electrical fault.