Edinburgh venue evacuated after fire scare

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By Andrea McCallum

AROUND a thousand people were evacuated from a popular entertainment venue in Edinburgh – leaving hundreds of Valentine’s couples out in the cold.

The Omni Centre was emptied at around 10.15pm on Saturday night after lights in the main complex overheated and set the alarms off.

Crowds of people poured out into the street and stood for almost an hour while fire crews searched the massive glass complex.

The centre – located at the top of Leith Walk – boasts five restaurants, a cinema, two pubs, a comedy club, a nightclub and a hi-tech gym.

Couples stood shivering in the cold and groups of fancy dressed women on hen parties left the area in favour of a different venue.

Gemma Walker, who was halfway through a Valentine’s date with her boyfriend Craig, said: “It’s freezing and the staff have just told us they don’t know how long it’s going to take before we get back in.

“The film just stopped and a girl just came in and told us we needed to leave the cinema – we saw that all the pubs have got their drinks still sitting on the tables.

“We were told that we can come back this week and watch the film again for free so it’s not too bad.”

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “It was a false alarm due to over heating of lights.

“The fire alarms went off after reports of a smell of burning.”

A spokeswoman for the Onmi Centre confirmed that there was an evacuation after a false alarm.

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