Edinburgh fire: Huge blaze erupts after 'explosion' shakes buildings

10 September 2019, 23:33

The fire erupted around 5pm on Tuesday
The fire erupted around 5pm on Tuesday. Picture: Paul Motion/@BassicallyPaul

By Megan White

Streets have been shut and nine fire engines sent to a block of flats in Edinburgh after an “explosion” caused a huge blaze.

Flames were seen bursting out of the windows of the four-storey tenement block in the Fountainbridge area after locals reported feeling buildings shake.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said there was a “well-developed fire and visible structural damage.”

The incident, near to Tollcross Primary School, was reported shortly before 5pm on Tuesday.

Nine pump and two height appliances were sent to the scene by the SFRS.

Road closures were put in place at Lochrin Terrace, Ponton Street, West Tollcross and through to Gardner's Crescent as rubble had scattered across the ground.

Alasdair Perry, SFRS incident commander, said: "On arrival, crews were confronted with a well-developed fire and visible structural damage.

Huge flames poured from the Fountainbridge block
Huge flames poured from the Fountainbridge block. Picture: Kimberley Reed/@ReedKimberley

"Firefighters were committed to search the building and commence both internal and external firefighting.

"We are working with our colleagues in Police Scotland and a number of other partner agencies to resolve this incident and make the area safe.

"I would like to thank all the firefighters and control staff involved in responding to this emergency and also our partners for their ongoing efforts.

"Due to the concern over the structural integrity of the building it is anticipated that the surrounding streets are likely to remain closed for a period of time."

Bricks from the tenement building appeared to have been blasted from the outer walls in the explosion.

Social media posts showed large plumes of smoke and fire coming from the window.

Police, ambulance and fire services were all in attendance.

Calum Brown, from Dalgety Bay in Fife, works opposite the scene and said he felt the "glass office" shake.

The 23-year-old recruitment worker said: "I heard a bang then looked around and there was just dust rising from the ground.

"You could see smoke pouring from the chimney - I got there just before the first fire engine - you could see flames coming out of the window.

"Bricks were missing from the tenement building and had landed on the street. "It was lucky that no-one was underneath at the time."

Edinburgh Police tweeted: "Emergency services are in attendance following a report of an explosion and fire within a building in the #Fountainbridge area around 5pm today. Road closures: Lochrin Terrace, Ponton Street, West Tollcross and through to Gardner's Crescent."