AN investigation was under way today after a woman died in a “tragic accident” when a blaze broke out in the top-floor of a high-rise block of flats.
The fire started in the living room of a flat at Nisbet Court in Restalrig Park yesterday morning.
Crews rescued the woman, who was found unconscious and suffering from severe smoke inhalation, and paramedics attempted to save her life on the landing – but she was pronounced dead on arrival at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Fire chiefs are investigating the cause of the blaze, but said it was not being treated as suspicious.
Residents at Nisbet Court today told of their shock at the death of the woman, named by neighbours as Caroline.
Full-time mum Mariola Mazue, 26, was at home when the blaze broke out at around 10.40am.
She said: “I’m shocked. I heard that something was going on but I didn’t know what it was, it must have been the fire brigade. Then a policewoman came and asked me if had seen anything.”
The emergency services were alerted by the tower block’s concierge, who said the smoke alarm had been going off in the property.
Fire appliances from Marionville and McDonald Road fire stations, a height appliance and the Command Support Unit raced to the scene.
One of the occupants, who did not want to be named, said: “This is just horrific. You used to see Caroline around, she always wanted to pet my dog.
“Just over a year ago, there was a fire here – an arson attack – and not long after that someone set fire to the clothing bank.
“The thought of the smoke just terrifies me, it’s pretty scary.”
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service group commander Gordon Fraser, who led the crews tackling the blaze, said firefighters and para- medics did everything they could to save the woman.
He said: “It has been a tragic accident and she has been overcome with smoke in her flat.
“The fire itself wasn’t that severe but the burning produced a lot of toxic smoke in the room.
“We found her in the property and removed her to the landing, where she was worked on by paramedics, but she was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
“An investigation is still ongoing, but it’s safe to say the cause was accidental.”
Last month, there were four fire fatalaties in Edinburgh and the Lothians in just one week.
A Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “We would like to remind the public of the importance of raising the alarm as soon as possible when they suspect a fire.”