A MAN who died in a house fire at his home has been described by friends as a “true legend”.
Father-of-two George Marley, 42, lost his life after a blaze broke out in his second floor flat in Mayfield, Midlothian, in the early hours of Saturday.
Firefighters rushed to the scene on Hawthorn Crescent but Mr Marley, who was known as Dode, could not be saved. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.
Friends have paid tribute on Mr Marley’s Facebook site following the tragedy. It is understood he had only recently moved to Mayfield after splitting up with his partner and had previously lived in Whitecraig, East Lothian.
One friend wrote: “Just heard the news. RIP George. Can’t believe it. I grew up in the same street as you, you were of the great characters mate, gone but never forgotten. RIP Dode.”
Another posted: “RIP. One of three best mates, had great laughs and carry-ons together, always brought a smile to my face as well as many others.
“A true legend and will be missed deeply.”
Chairman of Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council Robert Hogg said it had been a “great tragedy” for the village.
Neighbours in Hawthorn Crescent said that Mr Marley had only moved to the property in recent weeks.
A pile of debris remains outside the block of flats including the remains of a door, while a window at the property had been blackened by smoke. A man who lives across the landing, reportedly tried to rescue Mr Marley by banging on his door but could get no response when the fire broke out at around 1.30am on Saturday.
A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our investigations are ongoing into the cause of the ﬁre.
“Our condolences go to the family of the man involved.”
Police have conﬁrmed that there were no suspicious circumstances.
Details of Mr Marley’s funeral have not been yet announced.
The weekend tragedy is one of several deaths in house fires in Edinburgh and the Lothians in the past year.
While the cause of the blaze is not yet known, at least seven deaths this year are suspected to have been caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes, prompting fire chiefs to issue a safety warning last month.
In two high-profile incidents, a 66-year-old woman was killed in a fire at her Mid Calder flat in the autumn, which is thought to have been caused by a cigarette.
That followed the death a day earlier of a 41-year-old man at his flat in Niddrie Mill Drive.
David Lockhart, community safety manager at Lothian and Borders Police, said previously that simple measures could save lives, including asking the fire service for free safety advice.
“In many incidents where cigarettes start a fire, it is entirely preventable.”