ONE person has died in an early morning blaze in the Aberdeenshire village of Balmedie.
The sex of the person who was killed in the fire has still to be determined by Police and Fire service officers who are still investigating the cause of the outbreak.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police Service of Scotland can confirm that just before 6am today Scottish Fire and Rescue were called to a fire at Eigie House Cottages, Balmedie. They attended along with Police Scotland where the dwelling at number 4 was found to be well alight.”
He added: “Unfortunately due to this fire there is one fatality and enquiries are at an early stage.”
The blaze was at a sheltered housing complex for pensioners operated by Aberdeenshire Council.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “Aberdeenshire Council is deeply saddened at the news this morning of a fatality at one of its sheltered housing complexes.
“We are aware that a fire broke out early this morning at Eigie House, Balmedie. Emergency services attended the scene.”
She added: “Residents are being comforted and assisted by staff. Aberdeenshire Council will assist emergency services in the investigation.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said that fire units had been called to the blaze at 5.50am this morning.
He continued: “Crews from Central and North Anderson Drive in Aberdeen responded and were at the scene within minutes. Firefighters used breathing apparatus and two hosereel jets to extinguish the fire. Tragically a person has died following the fire and a joint Police and Fire investigation will now take place to establish the cause.”
Local Senior Officer David Rout said: “With the close relationships that exist between Scottish Fire and Rescue Service locally in Aberdeenshire and our partner agencies in Aberdeenshire Council and Police Scotland, we shall be working together to establish the cause with our key aim to prevent fires occurring and protect those most vulnerable at risk within Aberdeenshire communities.”
Graeme Pearson, Scottish Labour’s justice spokesman, said: “Of course it’s important that the merger of the fire boards leads to relevant efficiency savings but there also has to be consideration of the wider economic impact. I’m concerned that these decisions have been rushed through and there hasn’t been any thought on what happens in the local communities where the call centres were.”
He added: “I would also like reassurance that the closure of these offices doesn’t lead to any dip in service. When people call 999 for the fire service they rightly expect that the help they require is dispatched as expediently as possible.”