9am briefing: Leith fire | drug raids | Provost green car controversy

Provost  Donald Wilson says he is trying out greener vehicles
Provost Donald Wilson says he is trying out greener vehicles
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FIVE people were rescued and two taken to hospital after fire broke out in a tenement block in Leith early today.

Forty-two firefighters tackled the blaze in a ground-floor flat in South Sloan Street.

A man aged around 70 and a woman aged about 30 were taken by ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary suffering from smoke inhalation.

Fire crews were called to the three-storey property at 2.38am and found the flat well alight, with heavy smoke throughout the block.

The fire is believed to have started in the living room of the ground-floor flat.

The 70-year-old occupant was already out in the street by the time firefighters arrived.

Five other people from the upper floors of the block were led down the stairs to safety by fire crews.

Drug raids target west Edinburgh

SIX people have been charged with drug offences after a string of police raids which recovered heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

The raids were carried out in west Edinburgh by teams of officers.

Following a raid in Gorgie Road, two men aged 19 and 28 were charged with alleged drugs offences.

A 52-year-old man and a 33-year-old man also were arrested in Newton Street.

At another address in Newton Street, off Gorgie Road, a 29-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were charged.

More than £820 worth of diazepam, £120 of herbal cannabis and cannabis resin, £500 worth of heroin and £250 worth of cocaine were found at four addresses.

The enforcement action was part of Operation Cipher 2, aimed at improving quality of life for residents.

Greens challenge Provost over green car pledge

LORD Provost Donald Wilson was challenged today over his stated ambition to swap the civic BMW for an eco car.

Green councillor Gavin Corbett quoted Cllr Wilson’s comments to the Evening News in May when he said he wanted to be an environmental ambassador.

He said: “I know you are still having to use the old energy-hungry cars because I saw you in one of them recently when I passed you on my bike as you were stuck in a traffic jam near Balgreen. As a society we need to break the link that says status equals big car and big car equals status.

“Who better to break that link than the Lord Provost of Scotland’s capital?”

But Cllr Wilson told Cllr Corbett that he has already tried out a hydrogen-powered Hyundai i35 and an “inverted hybrid” Vauxhall Ampera, which runs mostly on electricity with some petrol, and is due to test a Lexus inverted hybrid in the New Year.