Man dies after flat fire in Gordon Street

Emergency services attend the fire in Leith. Picture: Scott Louden
Emergency services attend the fire in Leith. Picture: Scott Louden
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A PROBE to establish how an elderly man died after a fire in a retirement home will continue today.

The blaze at Gordon Court, in Leith’s Gordon Street, broke out at lunchtime yesterday.

Fire crews from McDonald Road, Tollcross and Marionville were scrambled at 12.21pm. Firefighters wearing breathing equipment quickly put out the first-floor flat fire .

No-one was evacuated from the 58-unit complex, but the building was taped off while a joint fire and police investigation got under way. Forensics officers were seen going into the building while a police officer stood guard at the entrance. Residents said they were shocked to hear about the death of the man, who has not been named.

One neighbour said the fire service was often called to Gordon Court, but usually due to false alarms.

He said: “It’s just too tragic. So many alarms go off there and the fire brigade turn up to every single one, so you think every time you see one that it’s a drill.

“This time, first of all the fire brigade turned up, then the police, then the medics. They were all here very quickly.”

The man said he thought the blaze must have been fairly self-contained as he did not see any flames and there were no evacuations.

Another neighbour said he had seen smoke coming out of the flat window, the pane of which was blackened around the edges.

The retirement home is operated by Bield, which provides housing for around 15,000 older people across 22 council areas.

Its spokesman said: “We can confirm that a tenant at Gordon Court has tragically died following a fire at the

development.

“We will be co-operating fully with police and fire

brigade to investigate the cause of the fire. No other tenant was affected and there was no evacuation of the development.

“Staff on site, who followed all correct procedures, are continuing to provide support to other tenants.

“It is a tragic situation and our sympathies go to the relatives and friends of the tenant.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said the tragedy brought “home the importance of working together to prevent fires and raise awareness of how to be safer from the risk of fire”.