Fifty fire fighters tackle blaze above Edinburgh pub


FIFTY fire fighters battled a blaze above an Edinburgh pub.

The fire broke out at around 11am today (Wed) between the first floor function suite of the Meadow Bar and the flat above it on Buccleuch Street.

Smoke billowed out of the second floor tenement flat’s windows and crews used seven pumps and one height appliance to bring the flames under control.

No one was inside the pub or the flat above, but residents in surrounding properties were quickly evacuated.

A man and woman were rescued from the top floor of the five-storey tenement building by turntable ladder.

They were checked over by the Scottish Ambulance Service at the scene.

Bar manager Robbie Howie, 29, from the Slateford area of the city, has leased the premises for six-and-a-half years and said he was “absolutely gutted” when he turned up for work shortly after 11am and saw the drama unfolding.

He said: “At first I thought the fire was at one of the flats because that’s where the fire crews were, but it quickly became apparent that the pub was involved.

“I used my keys to let the firemen in and we saw no trace of the fire in the downstairs main part of the bar, or in the kitchen area.

“But they think the function suite is completely destroyed.

“I’m totally gutted, we will definitely be closed for a while, but I’m just hoping downstairs hasn’t been too badly damaged so we can open again as soon as possible.

“I have no idea what started the fire, but the buildings around here are pretty old and I believe there are hollows between floors which could have something to do with it.”

The road was closed all the way along to Hope Park Terrace, and an ambulance crew was a the scene as a precaution.

Evacuated residents mingled around the cordon to try and see the extent of the damage and one man stood on the wet pavement in his socks.

David Blair, group manager of operations at Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, said the crews had faced extremely hot and smokey conditions as they fought the fire.

He said: “Both the first floor function suite and the second floor flat were affected.

“We have eight appliances – about 40 fire fighters – in attendance, and although no one was inside we evacuated other residents in the surrounding flats.

“It is too early to say how the fire started.

“It appears that it broke out in the function suite of the pub.

“The fire fighters have faced extreme conditions inside as it was very hot and smokey, but fortunately no one was hurt or had to be rescued.”

It took over an hour and a half to bring the blaze under control and fire crews were still at the scene at 2pm.

Buccleuch Street remains closed to through traffic.