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Blaze rips through tenement building after 'explosion'

Emergency services were alerted to the fire at around 5pm on Tuesday.

Streets around a four-storey building in Edinburgh are to remain closed off indefinitely after an "explosion" near a school.

The incident in the Fountainbridge area, near to Tollcross Primary, was reported shortly before 5pm on Tuesday.

The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) sent a number of teams - including nine pumps, two height appliances and search dogs, with police also providing support.

SGN gas engineers were also in attendance.

Blaze: Firefighters were called to the scene in Fountainbridge.
Blaze: Firefighters were called to the scene in Fountainbridge. STV / Kimberley Reed

Video from the scene showed flames and plumes of black smoke billowing from the second floor of the building into the sky.

There was also debris all over the ground from what appears to have been an explosion.

Alasdair Perry, SFRS incident commander, said: "On arrival, crews were confronted with a well-developed fire and visible structural damage. 

"Firefighters were committed to search the building and commence both internal and external firefighting. 

"We are working with our colleagues in Police Scotland and a number of other partner agencies to resolve this incident and make the area safe. 

"I would like to thank all the firefighters and control staff involved in responding to this emergency and also our partners for their ongoing efforts. 

"Due to the concern over the structural integrity of the building it is anticipated that the surrounding streets are likely to remain closed for a period of time."

Edinburgh: Fire service search dogs have also been called to the scene.
Edinburgh: Fire service search dogs have also been called to the scene. STV

Calum Brown, from Dalgety Bay in Fife, works opposite the scene and said he felt the "glass office" shake.

The 23-year-old recruitment worker said: "I heard a bang then looked around and there was just dust rising from the ground.

"You could see smoke pouring from the chimney - I got there just before the first fire engine - you could see flames coming out of the window."

Debris: Fire and police teams have been called to the scene.
Debris: Fire and police teams have been called to the scene. STV

He added: "Bricks were missing from the tenement building and had landed on the street.

"It was lucky that no-one was underneath at the time."

Due to the blaze, road closures were put in place at Lochrin Terrace, Ponton Street, West Tollcross and through to Gardner's Crescent.

Shortly before 8pm on Tuesday, Edinburgh Council announced that Tollcross Primary School and the nursery, as well as the community centre, would be closed on Wednesday due to the incident.

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