'Hero' pooch Luca let partying owner know about Leith Walk flat fire before smoke alarms were activated

The flat warming party on Edinburgh's Leith Walk abruptly ended around 1am on Sunday

By Joe Cawthorn
Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 11:45 am
Luca, a Husky-German Shepherd cross, smelled smoke billowing from a bottom floor flat and after going downstairs to investigate ran back up to his owner's flat and started barking
Luca, a Husky-German Shepherd cross, smelled smoke billowing from a bottom floor flat and after going downstairs to investigate ran back up to his owner's flat and started barking

A proud dog owner has heaped praise on her 'brave' pet after it alerted a party full of people to a fire - minutes before the smoke alarms went off.

Luca, a Husky-German Shepherd cross, smelled smoke billowing from a bottom floor flat and after going downstairs to investigate ran back up to his owner's flat and started barking.

The flat warming party on Edinburgh's Leith Walk abruptly ended around 1am on Sunday (Feb 2) when owner Hailey Beavis checked the close and realised the stairwell was filling with black smoke.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Turning the music off, Hailey - who said people thought they were 'going to die' - shouted for everybody to evacuate the first floor flat.

Hailey, 34, said: "Luca was barking and then my friend opened the door and went down.

"I turned the music off and told everybody to get out.

"Then everybody went outside and called the fire brigade.

"About 75 per cent of the party emptied really quickly."

Hailey, a musician, said: "We were stuck in the building because I couldn't get downstairs and Luca stayed with me.

"We're first floor but it's not a jumpable height.

"I climbed out of the window and onto a lower roof.

"It all happened so quickly.

"It was thick black smoke, you couldn't see."

Hailey commended her 'hero' nine-year-old pooch for his quick reactions as within minutes the close was engulfed in smoke, reducing visibility to zero.

She claimed the party would've been 'chaos' if Luca hadn't alerted everybody sooner.

Hailey said: "Luca gave us about 30 seconds.

"It would've been chaos if we saw the black smoke when everybody was still inside."

Hailey has been put into temporary accommodation after her new flat was rendered uninhabitable by smoke damage.

Nevertheless, Hailey is thankful nobody was seriously hurt by the blaze and commended her clever canine.

She said: "He's our hero.

"I can't stop hugging him and crying.

"In that situation quite a lot of us thought we were going to die.

"He stuck by my side.

"He could've gone down but came back up.

"I keep thinking about it a lot "It was a lucky set of circumstances.

"Last night in the pub a lot of us got back together and we all gave him a toast and shouted 'to Luca' - he knows he's been a brave boy."

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "We were alerted at 1.10am on Sunday, February 2 to reports of a fire affecting a block of residential flats in Edinburgh.

"Operations Control mobilised a total of nine appliances to Leith Walk and firefighters safely removed 11 people from the building by ladder due to the presence of heavy smoke in the common stairwell.

"The adult casualties were found to be suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation with seven women and two men treated at the scene and two remaining men transferred to hospital.

"Crews thereafter contained and extinguished the fire and left the scene at 3.35am after ensuring that the area had been made safe."