Pensioner and toddler rescued in dramatic flat fire


By Neil Pooran


Grandaughter Heidi stayed asleep for most of the dramatic rescue

A PENSIONER told today (Wed) how she and her three-year-old granddaughter had to be plucked to safety from the top floor of a burning building.

Roslin Reid, 65, was babysitting Heidi Kurys when fire broke out in a flat below, quickly filling the building with smoke.

With their escape route blocked, Mrs Reid and Heidi had to wait for firefighters on a turntable ladder to rescue them from 50ft above the street.

The fire started in Edinburgh’s Buckingham Terrace at about 10.30 on Tuesday night.


Mrs Reid said she only realised there was a crisis when she saw flashing lights outside a window, but initially thought it was just police dealing with a fight on the street.

She said: “I opened the door and got the shock of my life. There was this wall of smoke which went into the flat.”

She added: “I was absolutely terrified, I thought we weren’t going to be able to get out. At one point I thought: I’m going to die up here.”

Two firefighters wearing breathing masks battled up the stairs and passed her an oxygen mask.

Remarkably, Heidi stayed asleep until it was time to escape on the ladder.


Mrs Reid said the little girl remained unfazed by the whole incident.

“She thinks it was really fun,” she said. “She was laughing at the firemen’s yellow helmets as she was being taken down,” Mrs Reid said.

Mrs Reid was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and Heidi was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

They were both tested for carbon monoxide inhalation, but were released later that night.

They stayed with a friend in the city that night before returning to their soot-covered flat this morning.

“Never in a million years did I think this would happen,” said Mrs Reid.