Devastating fire at Sighthill pavilion leaves sports clubs fighting for their futures

Sighthill sports pavilion was set ablaze overnight in what is thought to be a deliberate fire.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 2:21 pm
Devastating fire at Sighthill pavilion leaves sports clubs fighting for their futures

A pavilion user has told the Evening News that the fire was started by barbecue firelighters that were forced through gaps in the wall.

The fire melted fire doors and alarms and caused severe damage to a number of changing rooms. There was also substantial damage to the roof.

Firefighters were seen to be cutting through metal shutters to gain access and to be able to control the fire more effectively.

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Devastating fire at Sighthill pavilion leaves sports clubs fighting for their futures

Edinburgh Napier Knights American Football, Boroughmuir RFC, and Edinburgh Rugby, as well as several other local sides and sports teams from Edinburgh Napier University, use the pavilion.

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Pete Laird, a coach for Napier Knights, is currently on holiday and was contacted late last night regarding the issue.

He said: “With the fire taking hold the pavilion will be closed for the foreseeable future. The council and Edinburgh Leisure contacted me and informed the team that safety inspections and a cost evaluation would have to be carried out.

Devastating fire at Sighthill pavilion leaves sports clubs fighting for their futures

"The worry is that the cost will be too great to repair the pavilion and we will be essentially rendered homeless in the near future. I imagine all the teams will be scrambling to find suitable venues.

“The team rallied to deal with the incident with several members racing to the scene to move all of our equipment which thankfully was not damaged in the fire. I just feel for the kids and other members of the local community who are brilliant but will miss out on sport in their community.”

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Napier University said: “We would like to thank the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for their quick response to the fire at the Sighthill sports pavilion last night. The pavilion and the adjacent pitches are used by some of our sports teams but thankfully no one was hurt in the incident.”

Devastating fire at Sighthill pavilion leaves sports clubs fighting for their futures

Locals have recently reported an increase in antisocial behaviour in the area.

A small group of teenagers have been spotted abusing local youth players who use the pavilion, whilst also using alcohol and smashing glass at the site.

Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed they attended the Pavillion and enquiries are ongoing.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “We were alerted at 4.31am on Wednesday, August 22 to reports of a fire at Sighthill Pavillion, Edinburgh.

“Operations Control mobilised two appliances to Broomhouse Road where firefighters extinguished the flames.

“Crews left after ensuring the area was made safe.”

If anyone has any information regarding the incident they have been advised to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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