Mystery as parked car bursts into flames on Edinburgh street

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A car mysteriously burst into flames and was burned to a shell in the early hours of the morning in Edinburgh's Inverleith district.

The red Citroen had been parked by some family friends visiting a property on Inverleith Terrace – close to the Botanic Gardens. After dinner, they had opted to take a taxi home, leaving the car parked on the street.

Residents were woken by a loud noise at 12:30am on Wednesday.

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"It sounded like a big explosion, then a few smaller pops, I thought they were gunfire," said one resident. "I looked out of the window and there were flames and huge plumes of smoke coming up from the car."

The scene in Inverleith this morningThe scene in Inverleith this morning
The scene in Inverleith this morning
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The car, which was entirely burnt out, had been propelled several metres along the road by the explosion, coming to rest against the garden wall of the next door house.

"We have no idea what caused it," said the resident. "We don't know whether it was arson, or some kind of accident – if another vehicle somehow hit it and drove away. It is very strange."

She added: "The police say they are not treating it as suspicious, but it is very unusual, parked cars don't usually burst into flames."

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The shell of a burnt out car in InverleithThe shell of a burnt out car in Inverleith
The shell of a burnt out car in Inverleith

​A Police Scotland spokespersons said: “Around 12:30am on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, police received a report of a car fire on Inverleith Terrace in Edinburgh.

"The fire was extinguished by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and cause is currently unexplained. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.”