Firrhill fire: ‘The guy was using a spray with water saying it was fine and not to call 999’

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Firefighters were seen ripping cladding and bricks off a first floor flat to uncover a fire behind.

An eyewitness has told the Evening News of her shock at discovering a neighbouring property was on fire, shortly before 9.30pm on Tuesday in Firrhill Park.

Firefighters at Firrhill Park. Picture: TSPL

Firefighters at Firrhill Park. Picture: TSPL

READ MORE: Fire rips through cladding of Edinburgh flats causing mass evacuation

“When I first saw the beginning of the fire the guy on the first floor was literally using a windowlene spray with water in saying it was fine and not to call 999. Idiot,” she said.

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, watched as crews worked throughout the night to tackle the fire - which started on the first floor - in the external cladding of the four-story building.

She helped make sure people were safely removed from the evacuated building.

Firefighters at the scene. Picture: TSPL

Firefighters at the scene. Picture: TSPL

The British Red Cross was called to assist with accommodation, while many residents are understood to have stayed the night in hotels or with family and friends.

“I knew everyone was out safe,” the eyewitness said.

“I watched the firefighters ripping cladding and bricks out to find the fire. I’m so glad it started before 9.30pm as it’s scary to think if it had started during the night when most where asleep it would have ended so much worse.”

Firefighters from Sighthill, Crewe Toll, Tollcross and Liberton fire stations worked tirelessly to tackle the fire, remaining on site until 5am.

Oxgangs Councillor Jason Rust said: “This was a really concerning situation for residents and I am grateful to the fire brigade for its efforts.

“There clearly needs to be a thorough investigation and I am seeking reassurances regarding the buildings in the local area.”

A spokesman for the British Red Cross confirmed its emergency support vehicle was deployed, carrying food, spare clothes and pet food for any affected residents.

Three volunteers helped people who had not already found alternative accommodation for the night.

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