A YOUNG mum and her three-month-old baby have been treated in hospital after a fire was started deliberately outside their home.
Fire crews rushed to the scene in Granton after a pile of rubbish at the rear entrance to the block of flats was set alight.
The blaze, which caused extensive damage to the stairwell of a three-storey block of flats in Royston Mains Gardens, was today being treated as suspicious.
Neighbours said the area had been blighted by youths setting fire to wheelie bins, while councillors said the blaze could have cost lives.
The 28-year-old and her baby were checked for smoke inhalation at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after being ushered from the property by firefighters who were called at around 11.30am yesterday.
Emdad Hussain, 40, a Royston Mains Gardens resident, said: “I’ve seen rubbish bins on fire in the streets round about here. I don’t know who’s doing it – maybe the local kids.”
One local resident, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said: “You see a wheelie bin on fire once every couple of weeks round about here.”
Royston Mains Gardens resident Kenny Ruthven, 50, said: “Just round the corner there was a whole bin melted.
“There have been other problems round about as well. People living locally have had their cars smashed and broken into. It happens on and off – depending on when the criminals get out of jail.”
Councillor Cammy Day, Labour group member for the Forth ward, said: “This would be worrying if it happened to anybody but is particularly so if the very young and elderly are involved.
“We will be more vigilant about dumped items and will be reinforcing to tenants that the stairwell has to be kept free from rubbish.”
A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “Initial investigations suggest that rubbish which had been stored at the back door was deliberately set alight.
“We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping common areas free from junk and rubbish. It’s an attractive target for fire- setters and can put people at risk of deliberately set fires.”
A police spokeswoman said: “Inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances and anyone with information should contact police on 0131-311 3131.”