THE FUNERAL for a hero fire-fighter killed tackling a pub blaze as he helped save 20 people from a burning tenement building is to be held at Edinburgh’s historic St Giles Cathedral.
Ewan Williamson, 35, died after a floor collapsed as he and colleague Oliver Carrigan entered the burning Balmoral Bar in Edinburgh last Sunday morning.
Mr Williamson died at the scene and his partner was taken to the city’s Royal Infirmary suffering from severe smoke inhalation.
Yesterday it was confirmed the hero’s funeral will be preceded by a dignified procession through the capital’s streets to allow the public to pay their last respects.
Police are to close off the route to traffic including the Royal Mile and George IV Bridge and crowd safety barriers erected with thousands of people from all walks of life expected to turn out to pay their respects.
Mr Williamson’s family will first hold a private ceremony in his hometown of Kinross, Fife, before a lone fire engine carries Ewan’s coffin from the fire-fighter’s former watch station at Tollcross to the cathedral in the city’s Royal Mile.
The cortege will leave his old station at around 12.30pm next Wednesday and will embark on a final journey which will take in the fire service’s headquarters at Lauriston Place, heading up George IV Bridge and down the Royal Mile to St Giles.
Mr Williamson’s coffin is likely to be draped in the Lothian and Borders Fire Service flag and borne by former colleagues.
Fire-fighters from across Britain are to travel to pay their final respects to their fallen colleague and eulogies will be heard from Lothian’s Chief Fire Officer Brian Allaway and family members.
Family and close friends will then gather at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh for a final private service.
Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is among others to have been bestowed the honour of a funeral service at St Giles.
The funeral will come just over a week after Mr Williamson died in the inferno.
He helped pull 20 people including a young baby from their windows as the fire threatened to rage out of control in the tenement above the popular pub.
Around 70 firefighters and 16 appliances were involved in tackling the blaze.
Dozens of floral tributes have been left near the scene, including one from his partner Lynsey and a photograph of them together, with the heart-rending message: “My hero. Did you have to be everyone else’s.”