Woman in fireball horror in Edinburgh Costa Coffee

The incident happened in the Costa branch in Edinburgh's South Bridge. Picture: Neil Hanna
The incident happened in the Costa branch in Edinburgh's South Bridge. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A WOMAN was rushed to hospital in the city centre after accidentally setting fire to herself in the toilet of Costa coffee shop - while sniffing gas and smoking a cigarette.

The incident saw ambulance, police and fire crews rush to the scene at the South Bridge cafe at around 2.50pm yesterday afternoon.

The woman - who suffered 30 per cent burns to her body - was taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston where she is understood to still be receiving treatment.

Witnesses to the horrific incident today told of how the victim was covered in flames when she ran screaming from the bathroom.

Customer Drew Cochrane, a tattoo studio manager at Rock n’ Roll tattoo parlour on East Norton Place, said he threw his jacket over the woman after she came running out of the toilet.

He said: “I was having a coffee with my friend and the fire alarm went off, but nobody was really moving as everybody thinks it’s a drill these days.

“Then we heard chairs scraping back behind us and we heard a kid screaming, and a woman came out of the toilet with her trousers on fire.”

With another man, Drew was able to put out most of the blaze - while a further man in his mid-20s grabbed a fire extinguisher and managed to dampen the flames engulfing the woman’s legs.

Drew, 25 said: “I phoned the ambulance and they were asking me the usual questions, like if she was breathing. They kept me on the line the whole time.

“The woman’s clothes on the bottom half of her body had burned clean off. Her hands were badly burned and her hair was briefly on fire as well.

“I’m definitely am at no point claiming to be a hero - the older gentleman and the guy who got the fire extinguisher certainly did the most to help. Everybody was just doing what they could.”

He added: “I have never seen anything like it in my life - she was like a human fireball.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police and emergency services attended a café in South Bridge, Edinburgh following reports that a woman sustained serious burns.

“An inquiry is underway.”

A spokesman for Costa coffee shop said: “We can confirm this incident and we will continue to work with Lothian and Borders Police with their ongoing investigations.

“Our thoughts are with her and her family at this time.”

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