Yeaman Place fire: Neighbours tried to save victim

Firefighters attended the blaze on Yeaman Place. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Firefighters attended the blaze on Yeaman Place. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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NEIGHBOURS today told of their desperate efforts to rescue a man from a fierce flat fire.

Police have confirmed one person died following the blaze in a top-floor flat in Polwarth yesterday evening and are still investigating the cause.

Emergency services at the scene. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Emergency services at the scene. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Shocked residents gathered at the scene and told how they had tried to reach a man as he called for help.

They said there had been at least two loud explosions.

Adam Pindur, 23, who lives directly below the Yeaman Place flat where the fire started, said he heard screams and tried desperately to kick the door down to rescue his neighbour.

He said: “The man started throwing furniture out the window of the flat. He needed help. He was screaming.

Firefighters are on the scene.

Firefighters are on the scene.

“I heard an explosion and one of the windows shattered.

“I tried to open the door to the flat but it was locked. I couldn’t open it.

“I tried to kick it open about ten times but it wouldn’t move and the fire was coming above the door and under the

door.”

A woman who lives nearby said her teenage daughter had seen flames through the window opposite and had also heard “explosions”.

She added: “She saw the flames become huge and she is really upset because she saw the man at the window.”

Fire crews from Tollcross, Sighthill and McDonald Road attended the blaze and received a total of 12 emergency calls, with the first coming in at 5.15pm.

A fire service spokeswoman said: “Firefighters wearing breathing masks used a line of hose and a high pressure hose reel to fight the fire.”

Initially, three fire engines and a height appliance were scrambled to the street but crews were forced to ask for additional help less than half an hour later including a fourth pump and an incident support unit which for salvage work.

The Fire Investigation Unit attended the scene to probe the cause of the fire.

The fire service spokeswoman said the flat had been “badly damaged” in the blaze.

The road remained sealed off to traffic between Dundee Street and Temple Park Crescent last night.

A police spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh responded at 5.15pm to reports of a fire in a flat at Yeaman Place. Once the fire was extinguished a body was recovered from within the property.

“A joint police investigation is under way to establish the cause of the fire and to determine the identity of the person who died.”