Forth Bridge builder forced to flee Merchiston home


By Kirsty Topping


The family had moved from London just a week ago

A MANAGER who arrived in Scotland a week ago to help build the new Forth road bridge had to flee for his life after a fire broke out in his new home.

Richard Lamb, his wife Silvana and their son Carlos Eduardo got the keys to their new house, in the upmarket Merchiston area of the city, just a week ago.

But early this morning (tues) the family were forced to flee their imposing stone-built home after faulty wiring caused a blaze.

Richard, 44, a works manager, had brought his family north as he will be helping build the new Forth crossing.

The family had left London just before the rioting in the capital began.

But while they missed the fires that raged across London, they couldn’t escape them in Edinburgh.

“We certainly got a warm welcome,” joked Silvana.

Fire crews were called to their flat, in the city’s Colinton Road, at 7.05am.

Richard said: “It was an electrical fault, it’s just what happens in old buildings like this with old wiring.

“There was a water pipe vibrating against some old wiring.

The fire began between the first and ground floors

“I was up already and saw this little fire in the carpet but when I looked at it, it went all the way through.

“Everything happened at once, I saw the flames, the fire alarm went off and ten seconds later the firemen burst in.”

“Our neighbour’s flat had been filled with smoke so she called the fire brigade.”

Richard, 45-year-old Silvana and their four-year-old son were helped from the property, which is just across the road from George Watson’s College, before crews set about tackling the fire.

Silvana, who is originally from Brazil, said: “We just saw the fire and got out of the house.

“We’ve only been here a week, we’ve just moved up from London and all our things are still packed.”

After being ushered to safety the family, dressed only in their pyjamas, watched as crews extinguished the fire.

Firefighters managed to put out the blaze in under an hour and made sure the property was safe.

Afterwards, the family returned to their home to begin clearing up the mess.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue said: “We were called to a fire in a property on Colinton Road at 7.05am.

“The fire was in a three storey building, which has been converted into three flats.

“The fire had started in the floor between the first and ground floors.

“A male and a female adult and a male child have been rescued from the first floor.”