Edinburgh fire: ‘I knew I had to just get out’: Residents evacuated as fire breaks out in Newington area of Edinburgh

Residents of a building which went up in flames on Monday morning have said they are unsure when they will be able to return to their homes.

The fire service was called to the scene, at Franco’s Fish and Chips in Summerhall Place, just after 11.30am.

The take away shop was fully ablaze, with video footage showing large flames and black smoke coming from the building.

Residents living above the shop raised the alarm and all those in the tenement were forced to flee the building.

One resident Mariela Albornoz, 48, who has lived on the top floor for two and a half years, said: “I was working in the living room and I noticed dust or what I thought was dust.

“I thought there was construction or something going on but realised quickly it definitely wasn’t dust.

“I went to my bedroom and that’s when I noticed it was smoke and flames. I knew I had to just get out.

“It’s super stressful. I have nothing with me and it’s horrendous. I don’t even have any of my stuff with me if I have to go to a hotel. It’s really stressful.”

‘I knew I had to just get out’: Residents evacuated as fire breaks out in Newington area of Edinburgh

Alex Ross, 28, was in the bathroom of his third floor when he began to smell smoke.

“I thought I heard knocking at the door. My girlfriend had just left to go to university so I wondered what it was,” he said.

"I took my earphones out and that’s when I realised I also smelled smoke. I knew something was burning.

“I heard shouting in the stairs and I realised the smell was getting stronger.

“I grabbed a wet towel and ran down the stairs. When I got outside, there were flames right next to me and i thought ‘oh wow the building really is on fire’.

“It was quite a surprise. It was a bit nerve wracking.”

Alex’s girlfriend Vayalena Drampa, 24, who has lived in the flat for a year and a half, added that she was worried when she heard about the fire and struggled to get hold of Alex, whose phone had run out of battery.

But after seeing a picture of him standing outside the building, she knew he was safe.

She said “I don’t know the people in the fish shop but I have been thinking about them and how crazy it must be for them right now.”

The couple are not expecting to get back into their flat tonight and are planning to stay with a family member while they, along with other residents, await an update.

The fire has now been extinguished.

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