FIREFIGHTERS saved the life of a man after battering down the door to his blazing home as he slept upstairs.
Former accountant Ronald Hay is believed to have been minutes from death as smoke filled his detached home in an upmarket suburb of Edinburgh.
The fire broke out at around 4.30am today (Wed) in the first floor of the propertyin Belmont Gardens, Corstorphine and flames quickly spread to the roof.
Mr Hay is understood to have been fast asleep as fire crews smashed down the front door and raced upstairs to rescue him.
The 50-year-old was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene but refused to go to hospital, preferring to calm his nerves with a glass of wine.
Mr Hay, who now works as a car salesman, was today recovering at the house of a neighbour, Nicky Lagreca, and declined to be interviewed.
Mr Lagreca, 70, said: “He was asleep. If it had been ten minutes later he would have been dead. “
“The flames were going up in the air. There were flames everywhere and there was a lot of smoke.
“He’s OK – he had a glass of wine at 5.30am this morning to help calm him down. “
Mr Lagreca added:
“The firemen told us it was an electrical fault. A few weeks ago lightening struck the house so it could have been that, that caused it. “
It is understood Mr Hay moved in to the property with his partner about a year ago and had been renovating the home.
Another neighbour, who ask not be named, said:
“It’s just awful. I wanted to cry for them I really did.
“I’ve never seen a fire like it. I dialled 999 but they told me it was already being dealt with. “
A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service confirmed:
“There was one casualty, a male suffering from smoke inhalation.
“The fire was in the first floor of the property and spread from there onto the roof. “
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said:
“A 50-year-old man was treated on scene but refused to be taken to hospital for further treatment. “