Fire fighters use platform to reach residents in flat blaze

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By Christine Lavelle

EIGHT people were rescued from a burning building after a blaze broke out in the basement area of their block of flats in Edinburgh.

An elderly woman was treated for smoke inhalation, and a 22-year-old female resident was given oxygen therapy by ambulance staff at the scene at Croall Place, in the Leith area of the city.

A man and woman were rescued from the roof by firefighters, who used a hydraulic platform to reach them.

The same platform was used to save a family of four from their living room window, in the multiple rescue operation which took just over an hour.

A fire crew was called to the flat shortly after 4am today, and used six breathing apparatus and a high pressure hose reel to extinguish the flames.

Two ambulances were at the scene, but no one was taken to hospital.

Residents suspect the fire was started when rubbish in the stairwell of the tenement building caught alight, but it was still being investigated today by fire and rescue staff.

Charlie Boisseau, 25, an IT director, escaped to the roof via a fire exit, he said: “I opened the front door and found thick black smoke and I couldn’t see through it.

“It was bloody scary.”

A Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “All residents were evacuated, and we rescued eight people in total.

“The fire broke out in the basement area of the flat, near the stairs, but it is not yet known how it started.

“We now have an ongoing investigation in to the cause of the fire.”

A spokesman for Scottish Ambulance said: “We sent two resources to the flat at Croall Place and two people had to be treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

“However, no one was seriously injured and we didn’t take anyone to hospital.”

Many of the windows to the building had been left open, and the blackened remains of bikes, a pram and a rowing machine were left outside.

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