Man jumps after blaze strikes flat

Charred remains piled in street which was cordoned off this morning
Charred remains piled in street which was cordoned off this morning
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ONE man jumped to safety from a first-floor window and 15 other people were rescued by ladder after fire broke out in a flat in Tollcross early today.

The fire brigade was called to the blaze in a ground floor flat at 21 Tarvit Street at 2.33am and found the property well alight.

The man who jumped from the floor above was found at the rear of the premises and had to be taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with back injuries. His condition was not thought to be life-threatening.

Firefighters used ladders, including a turntable ladder, to rescue 15 people from the upper floors of the four-storey tenement building. Nine people were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke.

The fire brigade said there was no-one in the ground floor flat at the time of the fire.

Residents in the neighbouring tenement were wakened by firefighters during the night to let them know about the fire and check they were safe.

The area was cordoned off this morning, and there was a large pile of rubble in the street. Two police officers were standing guard outside the building.Neighbours described their horror at the fire.

Tiina Kipari, 39, a post-doctoral research scientist who lives opposite the block where the fire happened, said she was awoken by noise and screaming in the early hours and looked out the window.

She said: “I saw people being lifted down a big ladder. One woman was being carried down by firemen and then three men.

“I saw some people crying in the street.”

And today it emerged there had been a fire in the same tenement the night before.

Dr Kipari said: “It was quite weird because the night before fire engines came to the same block. It’s unbelievable it could happen two days in a row in the same block.” Ashley Alongi, 27, a coffee shop owner, said she was shocked by today’s fire.

And she said she had been puzzled by activity at the block the day before.

“On Wedenesday night I was coming home from work and I saw four police vans and wondered what was going on.”

Ground-floor windows in the tenement were boarded up today.

David Young, area commander with Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, confirmed firefighters had attended a fire at the same property the night before.

He said there had been no casualties or rescues on that occasion.

Police said inquiries were under way to try to establish the cause of today’s fire.