Shock as two killed in house fires in 24 hours

Firefighters attend the blaze in Dundee Terrace
Firefighters attend the blaze in Dundee Terrace
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TWO people have died and three rescued in a series of fires which hit the Capital in the space of 24 hours.

A woman died in what firefighters called a “fierce fire” in a four-storey block of flats in Dundee Terrace late last night.

Fire crews and police rushed to the scene of the blaze shortly after 10pm yesterday but found the woman dead on arrival.

At its height, around 30 officers were involved in tackling the fire, which caused extensive damage, with residents from neighbouring flats evacuated.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue said: “Officers were met with a fierce fire when they arrived.

“Eight officers with breathing apparatus were dispatched to the flat and discovered a woman inside. Unfortunately she was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The fire has been extinguished but the property has been completely destroyed by the scale of the fire.”

And earlier in the day, a man died in another blaze in the top floor of a six-storey building in Powderhall Rigg.

Residents who were evacuated have spoken of their shock following the man’s death during the blaze, which began shortly before 10am.

Roddy Martine, who lives in the same block, said the evacuation could have been more dangerous if the fire had erupted on a lower floor.

He said: “Heaven only knows what happened. I didn’t realise that there was somebody left in the flat, I thought that everybody had got out.

“I didn’t really know the gentleman on the top floor as he would use the lift whilst I live on the ground floor.

“I had seen him once or twice coming in and out with a bicycle though.”

Fellow resident Agnieszka Kabzinska, 40, added: “I had just got up from bed when I looked out the window and thought it looked kind of misty. When I realised it was smoke I rushed outside.

“It’s shocking to think that a man lost his life.”

Speaking at the scene, group commander David Lockhart said: “When we arrived the fire was already well developed on the third and fourth floors.

“The apartment is set over two storeys with the sleeping quarters on the top floor.

“Upon entering the building a male casualty was found, he was taken outside where the Scottish Ambulance Service tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead shortly after.”

And two women and a child were rushed to hospital with burns after a fire broke out in a third-floor flat in Dryden Street last night. One of the women is understood to be in her 50s and the other in her 20s.

Around 20 firefighters attended the incident following an emergency call received just after 10.40pm and extinguished the fire using high-pressure hose reel, a jet and breathing apparatus. Extensive damage was caused to the property.

Inquiries into all three blazes are being carried out by investigation teams from Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue.