Edinburgh’s Old Town caught ablaze this morning

Edinburgh's Old Town engulfed in smoke as emergency services respond to major fire. Photo from the Evening Standard

TRAGEDY struck Edinburgh’s Old Town this morning where a number of buildings along the historic George IV Bridge caught fire. The incident was reported at 6:18am by a cleaner at the well-known Elephant House cafe, with nine fire engines and two specialist ladder vehicles arriving within minutes of receiving the call.

The Scottish Ambulance Service was also in attendance at the scene with two ambulances, one paramedic response unit, and a special operations team, who transported one victim of the blaze to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

A number of businesses have been affected by the incident, many of which will now be forced to close temporarily after suffering smoke and water damage. The above flats were this morning evacuated and the road cordoned off, forcing Lothian buses to reroute some of their services, including the 23 and the 27 bus.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in the city has thanked the emergency services for tackling the blaze.

Commenting on the disaster, Andrew McRae, FSB’s policy chair and business owner in this part of the capital, said: “On behalf of local firms in Edinburgh’s Old Town, I want to extend my thanks to the emergency services who have been working hard since the early hours of this morning. It is the hope of all Edinburgh locals that no-one has been seriously hurt in this dreadful incident.

“While it is too early to talk to the business impact of the fire, FSB stands ready to work with local firms and government at all levels to get this historic area back on its feet. It has been a hard 18 months for many Edinburgh businesses and today’s fire will make recovery that much harder.”

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