A man and a woman had to be treated for smoke inhalation after a suspected deliberate stair fire in Edinburgh yesterday afternoon. Two engines from Crewe Toll and a height appliance were mobilised to West Granton Road at 12.19pm after reports of a building alight.

On arrival firefighters discovered a fire in the ground floor of the common stair within a three-storey tenement property. Four firefighters in breathing apparatus and using a high pressure hose reel extinguished the blaze and vented the building for smoke.

A man aged 24 and a woman aged 27 from one of the top floor flats had to be checked over by ambulance crews at the scene. LBFRS’s Fire Investigation Unit and Police were called due to suspicion the fire was started deliberately.

The Council and Scottish Gas were also contacted about heat and smoke damage in the common areas.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said:

“Early indications suggest this fire may have been started deliberately. Fortunately no-one was seriously hurt but there was noticeable damage to the common stair area.

“If you live in a property with a common stair and shared areas please be a good neighbour and do what you can to prevent this type of incident. Always make sure main doors leading to flats are kept locked. Don’t let strangers into common stairs. Never stored combustibles in a common stairway. They can be attractive to deliberate fire setters. Rubbish can also block exits in a emergency and burning materials will produce a lot of toxic smoke putting residents at risk of smoke inhalation.

“If you discover a fire and it is safe to do so, get out, stay out and call us out by dialling 999 and asking for ‘Fire’. If your stairwell is full of smoke it may be safer to stay inside your property and call 999. Fire control will give expert fire survival advice until fire crews arrive to help you. They will make sure firefighters know where to find you and they will tell you when it is safe to leave your property.”

For more fire safety advice, including how to make an escape plan for your home or what to do if trapped by fire, you can visit our website at www.lbfire.org.uk