A POPULAR fish and chip shop has been forced to close after a fire ripped through the building.
Barracuda in Duddingston was badly damaged in the blaze, which started in the kitchen at around 7.30pm on Saturday, forcing eight terrified staff to flee.
The fire service is still investigating the cause of the blaze in Northfield Drive, though police have confirmed it was not suspicious.
Describing the damage as “pretty bad” but “fixable”, owner Susan Cota was unable to confirm when the shop would be ready to reopen.
“Everything is a bit unsure,” she said. “But we hope to reopen as soon as possible.”
Mrs Cota, who runs the shop with husband Tani, described the fire as “scary” but stressed that her priority had always been the safety of her staff.
She refused to speculate on the cause until the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had completed their investigation.
Rather than attempt to tackle the blaze themselves, the quick-thinking couple evacuated their staff and disconnected the gas supply before calling the fire service.
“We decided we could do more damage by dealing with it ourselves,” said Mrs Costa.
“The first thing was to evacuate the staff, then turn the gas off and call 999. The main thing was to ensure the safety of the staff.”
She added: “The firefighters did an amazing job. And at least everybody is OK.”
A spokeswoman for the fire service said that two fire appliances had been scrambled to the scene but crews then demanded further assistance, such was the ferocity
of the blaze. Units from Newcraighall, Marionville and McDonald Road went to the takeaway, which was described as “well alight”.
Police sealed the area off while crews wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze until shortly before 9pm.
It took two high-pressure hose reel jets to tackle the fire while witnesses reported thick plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky.
The fire service said the premises were evacuated on arrival and no-one was hurt in the incident.
Barracuda, which made the shortlist for the Evening News’s final of Chip Shop of the Year, is renowned throughout Edinburgh for its style and presentation.