Probe into three Portobello fires in an hour

Two wheelie bins were set on fire in a stairwell in Loganlea Place. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Two wheelie bins were set on fire in a stairwell in Loganlea Place. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Fire crews were called out to three fires which broke out in the same area of the city within an hour.

Ten people, including two children, had to be rescued from a blaze in a tenement in Bath Street, Portobello, yesterday evening.

Emergency services found the building heavily smoke-logged when they arrived at the scene after the alarm was raised at 6.30pm.

The blaze was one of three which broke out in Portobello within an hour.

Fire crews were also called out to King’s Place and Bridge Street.

An investigation is now under way into the cause of the fires.

At Bath Street, ladders and specialist high reach equipment were used to rescue six residents, including the two children, from the upper floors of the tenement.

Four residents were led to safety from the ground floor of the five-storey building.

The ten people were all treated for mild smoke inhalation by firefighters and ambulance service personnel but did not need to go to hospital.

The fire was in the close of the tenement and was quickly extinguished by fire crews.

Group Manager Jimmy Melvin of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “The heavy smoke logging within the common area of this block of flats caused the residents a great deal of distress and 
disruption.

“The first attending crews worked quickly to lead ten residents to safety whilst the fire was extinguished and the area made safe.

“Some residents were reassured by firefighters at the scene and remained within their homes, taking advice from firefighters to conceal doorways to prevent smoke entering and to move to a safe room within the flat.”

He added: “Residents should avoid at any costs placing refuge, or any combustible material in these common areas, as this increases the risk to fires starting.”

A short time later at 6.50pm a bicycle was set alight within a stair in Bridge Street.

Firefighters using breathing apparatus and one high pressure hose real extinguished the fire. One woman was treated for smoke inhalation and was checked over by the fire service but did not require hospital treatment.

Crews were called to the third fire at around 7.20pm in a stair of a four-storey block on Kings Place. The fire was extinguished using one high pressure hose and six fire fighters using breathing apparatus.

A police spokesman was unable to comment on whether the fires were deliberate until an investigation is carried out by the fire service.