George IV Fire LIVE: Emergency services attend fire in the Edinburgh Old Town as smoke pours out near iconic Elephant House Cafe

Emergency services are in attendance at a fire in the Capital’s historic Old Town as George IV Bridge is closed off.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 10:23 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 3:06 pm

Follow here for all updates on a major fire in Edinburgh city centre.

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George IV Fire LIVE: Emergency services attend fire in the Edinburgh Old Town as smoke pours out near iconic Elephant House Cafe

George IV Bridge Fire LIVE: Emergency services attend fire in Edinburgh Old Town

Last updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2021, 19:37

‘Well over’ 100 firefighters battle huge blaze on George IV Bridge

Fire crews are still battling a huge blaze in buildings on Edinburgh’s George IV Bridge, with “well over” 100 firefighters tackling the smoke and flames throughout the day.

Watch dramatic video footage as fire in the heart of Edinburgh's historic Old Town brings the city to a standstill

Dramatic footage has emerged of the blaze in the heart of Edinburgh's historic Old Town that brought the city to a standstill earlier today.

Council Leader Adam McVey said: “Council teams are working closely with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, along with Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service, to respond to the fire on George IV Bridge and to minimise any disruption.

“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.”

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has thanked the emergency services for tackling George IV Bridge fire.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s policy chair and business owner in this part of the Capital, said: “On behalf of local firms in Edinburgh’s Old Town, I want to extend my thanks to the emergency services who have been working hard since the early hours of this morning.

“It is the hope of all Edinburgh locals that no-one has been seriously hurt in this dreadful incident.

“While it is too early to talk to the business impact of the fire, FSB stands ready to work with local firms and government at all levels to get this historic area back on its feet.

“It has been a hard 18 months for many Edinburgh businesses and today’s fire will make recovery that much harder.”

Our reporter on the scene has been told that it will be a few hours still before the emergency services are confident the area is safe. The fire is still burning, though work is well underway to get it under control.

There are thought to be no one else requiring medical attention, apart from the one person already taken to the hospital by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Heritage and Retro Reporter for the Edinburgh Evening News , David McLean with a bit of history on the building on George IV Bridge.

The historical value of the area affected by the George IV Bridge fire is incalculable.

Named following King George IV’s famous 1822 visit to the city, George IV Bridge itself was built by Thomas Hamilton under the 1827 Improvement Act.

Creating a prominent south approach to the city centre over the ancient Cowgate, the bridge is festooned on either side with an array of elegant B-listed buildings, mostly dating from the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign.

Contained within the fire-ravaged block on the western side of the bridge is the former Elim Pentecostal Church, now Frankenstein’s Pub.

Decorated in the gothic style, the former church is a unique piece of architecture built in 1859.

Candlemaker Row has long been associated with open flames, having been named circa 1650 after the candlemakers who were forced to settle there.

The oldest buildings on its famous incline towards the main entrance of Greyfriars Kirkyard date from the early 18th century.

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