Firefighter in critical condition after blaze at Jenners building in Edinburgh
A firefighter is in a life-threatening condition after being injured battling a blaze at the Jenners building in Edinburgh.
Five firefighters were hurt during the blaze at the former department store in the Scottish capital, which crews were called to at 11.29am on Monday.
Ross Haggart, the Scottish fire and rescue service’s interim chief officer, said: “The fire at the Jenners building in Edinburgh is a very serious and complex incident and regrettably I can confirm that five of our colleagues have been taken to hospital for treatment and one remains in a critical condition.”
Emergency services shut roads around the building, where flames were seen coming out of the ground floor. A total of 22 appliances and other specialist resources were sent to the scene at the fire’s height.
Marks & Spencer and the Mercure Hotel, on Princes Street, were closed as firefighters worked in the neighbouring former department store, and other buildings in the area were evacuated.
A spokesperson for the Fire Brigades Union said it was aware of a number of injuries to firefighters. “We can confirm that five firefighters have been treated at the scene or at hospital, one of whom is in a serious condition,” they said.
Founded in 1838, the department store was one of the oldest in the world when it closed in 2021. The category A-listed current building dates to 1895, after a fire destroyed the original.
Renovations have been under way to transform it into a hotel, backed by a firm owned by the fashion billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen.
One local worker said: “I work at one of the businesses nearby and I nipped out for lunch and tried to get in but we have been evacuated. I was aware of the sirens and it was one of my team that said Jenners was on fire.
“The building’s beautiful. It’s such a beautiful piece of architecture, it’s such a shame, especially with it shutting down and lying kind of empty.”