George IV Bridge fire: One person taken to hospital as emergency services attend large fire in Edinburgh city centre

Emergency services have been called to a fire in the city centre of Edinburgh.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 7:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 2:16 pm

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed they are in attendance at an incident on George IV Bridge in the centre of Edinburgh.

They have labelled it a level four fire and have been on site since early Tuesday morning.

One person has been taken to hospital due to the incident and many residents have been evacuated from their homes in the area.

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A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 6.18 am on Tuesday, August 24 to reports of a building on fire at George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.

“Operations Control mobilised nine appliances and two height vehicles to the scene where firefighters are tackling a fire affecting a number of properties.

“Crews are still in attendance.”

George IV Bridge fire: Emergency services attend large fire in Capital city centre . Picture credit - James Gray.

It is not clear where the fire started, but there are reports of extreme fire and water damage to several businesses including wall collapse next to the Elephant House Cafe.

Police Scotland wrote on social media: “Our officers are currently assisting the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service dealing with a large fire at George IV Bridge.

"Please be aware that there are numerous road closures in the vicinity of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row at present and avoid the area where possible.”

A source from the scene warned that it would be several hours, possibly into the evening before the road would be safe and possible to reopen.

Picture credit: Matt Dolan

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: ““We received a call at 0639 hours today to attend an incident at George IV Bridge in Edinburgh with our first resource arriving on scene at 0646.

"We dispatched two ambulances, one paramedic response unit and our special operations team to the scene.

"We transported one patient to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.”

The Central Library announced that they would be closed today due to the fire as has the National Library of Scotland.

Picture credit: Matt Dolan

Lothian have announced that all buses that go along George IV have been diverted, including the 23 and the 27.

Sightseeing bus tours are also being diverted.

Edinburgh Travel has warned that there is a build up of traffic in this area.

Local resident Marco, 22, lives above Oz Bar.

He says that the fire alarm went off around 6 in the morning adding: “We didn’t really know what it was. We checked all the rooms. We could smell smoke but I went down onto the street and could see no one.

Picture credit: Matt Dolan

“Then the fire fighters came and they we like ‘are you guys alright’ and we said ‘yea’.

“They said, alright, you can go back to bed.

“Around 8 am the smoke alarm went off again and this time we could really smell the smoke.

“That’s when I said somethings wrong, so I went downstairs and saw that the fire fighters had completely broken the door.

“We went outside and the firefighters said we had to evacuate.”

Edinburgh City Council Leader Adam McVey said: "Roads officers have put a safety cordon around the affected areas and necessary road closures while, unfortunately, we have had to close the Central Library.

“Our Resilience Team are also continuing to liaise with the relevant agencies and Shared Repairs officers are on site to offer structural engineering advice.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more comes in.

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