TWo Berwickshire students were caught up in a fire which swept through a house in Edinburgh in the early hours of Monday morning.
Seventeen-year-old Alex Jeffrey from Lamberton and Shae Grimsdale from Swinton were two of four people rescued by firefighters as the blaze took hold at a Georgian tenement in the capital’s Buckingham Terrace at 4.40am.
When 30 firefighters arrived at the scene they found the first floor flat of the five storey property alight and the flames had spread further up the building.
Alex, who studies at Newcastle College, was staying with boyfriend Shae in his parent’s top floor flat and the couple were alerted to the fire when they were woken by smoke.
They had to climb out onto a ledge and a turntable ladder was used to get them down. Both were uninjured.
Alex’s mum, Julie, said reports in national papers that her daughter has a big fear of heights were exaggerated and she was just pleased that Alex and Shae were OK.
Julie, who works as a hairdresser in Eyemouth, commented: “I first heard about the fire straight after it had happened. Obviously I was in shock but relieved that Alex was alright.
“She seems to be fine now although understandably a bit shaken up about the whole thing.
“A lot of what the papers have written has blown things out of proportion. Alex isn’t keen on heights but it’s not a massive thing and when she was in a situation like that she just concentrated on getting out safely.
“Everyone’s just pleased that they got out without being injured.”
At the height of the blaze eight firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and using two lines of hose and two hose reels battled to get the blaze under control.
Crews were still at the scene at 8am on Monday along with officers from the Fire Investigation Unit.
A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “This was a significant fire which involved four rescues.
“Firefighters remained at the scene on Monday morning to ensure that the fire was fully extinguished.
“Fortunately no one suffered serious injury due to the quick response from fire crews to evacuate the building.
“When fire takes hold in a building it can spread very quickly. We would urge people to ensure that they have a working smoke alarm in their property.
“This is vital to alert you if there is a fire, particularly in the middle of the night, and gives you time to react and respond. The Service can help residents by fitting a free smoke alarm through the home safety visit programme. To arrange call 0800 169 0320.”