Firefighter dies in Edinburgh pub blazeFloor collapses as firefighters tackle fire at Balmoral Bar in Edinburgh's Dalry Road
Haroon Siddique and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 12 July 2009 10.14 BST Article historyA firefighter was killed and another injured when the floor of a pub collapsed while they were fighting a blaze in Edinburgh that broke out overnight.
Sixteen fire appliances were sent to the Balmoral Bar in Dalry Road and about 70 firefighters are tackling the fire, which broke out shortly after midnight, and was still alight this morning.
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue (LBFR) said the two officers were part of a team wearing breathing apparatus which had gone inside the bar. When the floor collapsed, other firefighters rushed to help.
"Tragically despite the efforts of his colleagues, one of these firefighters lost his life," said the chief fire officer, Brian Allaway. "LBFR is a close-knit community and we are all devastated by this loss and concerned about our injured colleague. The thoughts of every single member of the service are with the families of the firefighter and our injured colleague. This is a tragic day for our service."
The injured man has been taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Doctors said they did not believe his injuries were serious.
More than 10 people, including young children, had to be rescued from the multistorey tenement block above Balmoral Bar, which is in the basement of the building. Some required treatment by paramedics at the scene, with some casualties suffering from severe smoke inhalation.
The fire service was alerted at 12.38am and officers arrived to find a "severe" fire had taken hold in the bar. "It was a very difficult fire to deal with – the flames were so fierce," Allaway said.
"We have launched a full investigation into the incident."
The Balmoral is on the corner of Dalry Road - one of the main routes in to central Edinburgh - and Downfield Place.
It has three storeys of residential accommodation above the ground floor bar premises, with other shops and terraced tenements either side.