Dentist continued work outside near lorry on fire

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Going to the dentist can be a scary experience – all the more so when your treatment is taking place just yards from a huge fireball.

Brooke Hitchin was getting a filling at Family Dental Care in Prestonpans when the clinic had to be evacuated.

The lorry goes up in flames. Picture: Graham Hockaday

The lorry goes up in flames. Picture: Graham Hockaday

A lorry had burst in to flames just yards away from the dentist’s plant room – which contained flammable gas – and Brooke’s treatment had to be completed outside.

Brooke, 36, a housewife from Tranent, said: “It was a bit crazy – not the sort of thing you expect when you’re at the dentist.

“I was a bit concerned that we were not going to get back in the building and I was going to have to head home with a big hole in my tooth.

“When we got outside it was quite shocking to see the lorry in flames and we were worried that someone had been hurt.”

Agnieska Nohawica treats Brooke Hitchin outside. Picture: Lesley Love

Agnieska Nohawica treats Brooke Hitchin outside. Picture: Lesley Love

It took fire crews more than two hours to extinguish the blaze that had engulfed the light goods vehicle.

The lorry is understood to be one used to paint white lines on roads and contained gas cylinders.

Police cordoned off the area, which includes the Lidl car park.

Charlie Crummy, partner at Family Dental Care, said: “There was a huge bang – a fireball and another puff of flames.

“My first instinct was to stay inside the building in case the thing blew up.

“But the fire was right next to our plant room where our own gases and compressed air are stored, so we had to evacuate the building – including people who were midway through treatment.

“One of our patients had to get treatment on the street outside.

“They were getting a filling done and we couldn’t hang around to complete it or just send her home with a hole in her tooth.

“So the patient had to get the filling as she was sitting on a wall.

“We must have been outside for about two hours and some of the staff only had their tunics on.”

The dentist who administered the treatment, Agnieska Nohawica, described the al fresco treatment as the strangest experience of her career. She said: “Coming outside and seeing this huge fireball was bizarre.

“But I was in the middle of treatment and I couldn’t just leave the patient like that.

“Luckily, one of the other dentists had a portable kit so I was able to give her a temporary filling so it could be sorted.”