Cause of Firrhill flat blaze not in cladding say fire chiefs

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed a fire at a block of flats in the Capital did not break out in its cladding.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 15th May 2019, 2:32 pm

Investigations have revealed the source of the fire at Firrhill Park was in an internal wall - behind the cladding.

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Crews were called to Firrhill Park just after 9.30pm on Tuesday to a four-storey block.

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Crews were at the scene until 5am. Picture: TSPL

The British Red Cross was in attendance to support the large number of people who had to be removed from the evacuated properties.

Firefighters from Sighthill, Crewe Toll, Tollcross and Liberton fire stations worked tirelessly to tackle the fire, remaining on site until the early hours.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed four appliances and one height appliance had been sent to the fire, which was understood to have been in the external cladding.

A spokeswoman for the service said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 9.34pm on Tuesday, May 14 to reports of a fire in a block of flats in Edinburgh.

Firefighters at the scene. Picture: TSPL

“Operations Control mobilised four fire appliances and a height appliance to Firrhill Park where firefighters extinguished the fire within what has now been confirmed as an internal wall of the timber framed building and not within the building cladding.

“There were no casualties and residents were safely evacuated and passed into the care of The Red Cross.

“Crews left the scene at 3am and returned this morning, Wednesday, May 15 to carry out a further check to ensure the area was made safe.”

Eyewitnesses spoke of their shock at seeing firefighters tear cladding from the walls of the flats.

Four crews were called to the scene. Picture: TSPL

“I watched the firefighters ripping cladding and bricks out to find the fire,” one resident told the Evening News.

“I’m so glad it started before 9.30pm as it’s scary to think if it had started during the night when most where asleep it would have ended so much worse.”

The block is owned by the housing association Dunedin Canmore.

Managing Director Hazel Young said: “Our staff were at the scene very quickly after the fire broke out.

Firefighters at the scene. Picture: TSPL

“Most of the residents will be able to return to their homes today.

“We will do all we can to help the two households whose homes were damaged while we get the properties back to norm.”

Oxgangs Councillor Jason Rust added: “This was a really concerning situation for residents and I am grateful to the fire brigade for its efforts and to Dunedin Canmore staff for being on hand.

“It is reassuring that there is not believed to be any linkage with the cladding given national issues, but the cause is necessarily being fully explored.”

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A height appliance was used. Picture: TSPL
Removed cladding. Picture: TSPL
The aftermath. Picture: TSPL