Bloodbath discovered at blazing home in one of Edinburgh's most exclusive areas

POLICE were today expected to formally launch a murder inquiry after a man was found apparently "battered to death" and a woman left seriously injured at a flat in one of Edinburgh's most exclusive neighbourhoods.

Firefighters were called to a blaze in Chalmers Crescent, the Grange, at 8:20am yesterday. They found a smoke-filled flat caused by a fire that had been burning for some time and two people lying unconscious and surrounded by blood.

Officially, police said last night that they were treating the fire as "suspicious". However, sources said a murder investigation was under way.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The identity and ages of the two people, and their relationship to each other, has not been disclosed.

A post-mortem examination on the man was due to be held either last night or this morning. However, it appears the man was battered to death while the woman suffered stab wounds.

She was unconscious when firefighters arrived and pulled her out of the flat. They brought her round and treated her for smoke inhalation before she was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Police sources said she was not expected to become a suspect. However, there was no sign of a break-in or anything having been stolen.

The flat is believed to be part of a housing association block which is more modern than the expensive Victorian properties that surround it.

A section of the road was cordoned off yesterday, with a row of police cars lining an adjacent street. Police are expected to formally announce a murder inquiry today, after receiving the results of the post-mortem examination.

A police source said: "When we arrived we could see (the woman] had suffered knife wounds and he had been badly beaten. The man had not suffered stab wounds but appeared to have been battered to death. There was a lot of blood around them. It was obvious they had not died as a result of the fire.

"The flat was heavily smoke-logged and it had possibly burned for a long time without actually catching and becoming a big fire."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Locals last night spoke of their shock over the incident. Ruth Wilson, 79, said: "I asked a policeman and he would not say anything. It's such a shock. We don't have things like this happening - ever."

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said last night: "We are investigating the death of a man in a suspicious fire that broke out within a property in Chalmers Crescent, in the Grange area of Edinburgh, around 8:20am.

"A woman who was rescued from the ground-floor property is currently receiving treatment in hospital.At this time inquiries are at an early stage, and we are working with the fire service to establish the cause of the blaze.

"We are appealing for anyone who was in the Chalmers Crescent area at the time the fire broke out, who noticed any suspicious activity, to contact police immediately."