In pictures: Everything we know about the Edinburgh Jenners fire
One firefighter remains in a critical condition
A major fire broke out on Monday morning in the building that was previously home to the iconic Edinburgh department store, Jenners.
Fire crews were alerted to smoke emerging from the basement of the building, which sits between Princes Street and Rose Street, at 11:29am on 23 January.
The first two emergency crews arrived on the scene and found the building “well alight”, according to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
A total of 22 fire enginges attended the blaze, which was described as “a very serious and complex incident” by Ross Haggart, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Interim Chief Officer.
Specialist firefighting resources were also required to deal with the incident.
A total of five firefighters were taken to hospital, with the one remaining in a critical condition named as 38-year-old Barry Martin, from Fife.
“The families of all those affected have been made aware”, said Mr Haggart.
Police services also attended the scene, with a spokesperson for Police Scotland saying: “At around 11.35am on Monday, January 23, police were called to assist Scottish Fire and Rescue Service with road closures following a fire within a building on South St David Street, Edinburgh.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has thanked their “dedicated crews and staff for their professionalism in responding to this challenging incident”, and insisted it would work with authorities to carry out a full investigation into the incident.
Director of AAA United who owns the property, Anders Krogh Vogdrup, told BBC Scotland they believe there is only “very localised damage” in the north side of the building.
First opened in 1838, the Jenners building represents one of Scotland’s most long-standing and iconic retail brands.
The building was empty at the time of Monday’s fire, after the department store closed its doors in December 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Owners House of Fraser vacated the premises in 2021, and it is understood work has begun to convert the upper section of the building into a hotel.
Edinburgh’s Council Leader, Cammy Day, said it was “so sad” to see a fire of this scale take hold in the building, and thanked emergency responders for their bravery.
“Hopefully the damage to the building will be minimal so that restoration work can continue and the building can be enjoyed for another 100 years – and beyond”, he said.
The cause of the fire has not yet been formally established.
Featured image: via SWNS