Homes gutted as fire rips through colonies block

Firefighters douse the flames at the colonies in Shandon
Firefighters douse the flames at the colonies in Shandon
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MORE than 40 firefighters were called to tackle a huge blaze at row of houses in the Capital today.

Two houses were gutted and dozens of families forced to flee in the early morning incident.

The fire broke out at two colony-style properties on the ground and first floor at Hazelbank Terrace in the Shandon area at around 5.20am.

One female casualty was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary suffering from smoke inhalation.

Crews from Tollcross, Sighthill, Newcraighall, Marionville, Liberton and Broxburn tackled the blaze and around 45 firefighters were called to fight the fire, which spread to a third property.

Police cordoned off neighbouring Ashley Terrace following the outbreak.

Nick Smith, 38, who was in his end-terrace house with his three-year-old son Finlay when the fire broke out.

He said: “I heard a sound – it sounded like someone was breaking into the house. I got up and the house was knee-deep in smoke. I phoned 999 and got the kids and the dog out.

“When I got outside there was a lot of smoke. All the neighbours were coming out of their homes and everyone made sure everyone else was okay, then the fire engines arrived.

“It was a pretty frightening experience. It’s just not what you would expect at 5.15am.

“I asked the owner of the flat next to me what happened and she said it was a chip pan fire. Obviously we are pretty devastated.”

There were still flames coming from the roof and large quantities of smoke nearly three hours after the fire started.

Two women were comforting each other as the fire crews continued hosing the flames.

In a separate incident fire crews were called to tackle a blaze at the Bodrum Fry and the Blossom House Restaurant in South Queensferry early today.

The fire was reported at around 3.30am and fire crews from South Queensferry and Crewe Toll were on scene for around two hours. Gas engineers were called after reports of a gas leak after an inlet pipe fractured.