Edinburgh University student pulled to safety from burning flat

A university student who was pulled from a burning flat after he recklessly covered his smoke alarm with plastic has been ordered to pay compensation.

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 1:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th September 2021, 1:01 pm

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Muhammad Bin Baharuddin, 23, covered the smoke alarm in his room with bubble wrap while staying at student accommodation in Edinburgh last year.

Bin Baharuddin, who is studying biological sciences a Edinburgh University, had to be rescued from Elliot House by two workers after a fire had started in his room.

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Fined: Muhammad Bin Baharuddin

The Malaysian was found on his “hands and knees” struggling to escape the room which was full of smoke and flames.

A subsequent fire service investigation found Bin Baharuddin’s smoke alarm had been covered by “bubble wrap or sellotape” to prevent it from working.

The student was arrested and charged with reckless conduct by police following the incident in July last year.

Bin Baharuddin pleaded guilty to an amended charge of culpably and recklessly covering the smoke detector when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

Now, Sheriff Chris Dickson has ordered him to pay £1000 in compensation.

Fiscal depute Lyndsay Magro told the court that a worker at Elliot House heard a fire alarm at around 9.30am on July 29 last year could smell smoke.

He and a colleague then made their way to Bin Baharuddin’s room and pulled him to safety while the building was being evacuated.

Ms Magro said: “Upon entering and putting out the fire the fire service noted the fire detector had been covered with something similar to plastic bubble wrap or sellotape.

“The detector had been entirely covered and the ability to detect smoke was impeded.”

The fire investigation found the fire had “started on a bed” within the property and the damage was said to have amounted to around £1000.

Bin Baharuddin, who suffered burns to his body and had to spend a night in hospital, was later arrested and charged by police.

He pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly covering a smoke detector with a plastic material to prevent the detector to function to the danger of lieges at Elliot House, Hillside Crescent, Edinburgh, on July 29 last year.

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