Cause of Jenners fire still unknown, says council leader

The cause of an iconic Edinburgh building blaze that critically injured a firefighter remains unknown, the city council leader said. Fire crews were called to former

department store Jenners, which was being turned into a hotel, at 11.29am on Monday. Five firefighters were taken to hospital for treatment, with one in a “critical

condition”. Witnesses saw a soot-covered firefighter being helped from the building by colleagues. Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday, Edinburgh City Council leader Cammy

Day said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service along with the surveying team were looking into that overnight, so we don’t yet know the cause. “Obviously there was

construction work happening on the old Jenners building, so we’ll find out in the next coming days.” Mr Day added: “I sure I say this on behalf of the whole city, that our

thoughts are with the firefighters who risked their lives to save the building and save the people around the city as well, so our thoughts are with their families

today.” The council will assess the building’s structural integrity, Mr Day said, adding: “That is a question we don’t have the answer to yet.” Asked if the building,

which has stood in Princes Street since the 1800s, will survive, Mr Day was unable to be definitive. “That will be subject to these surveys; I’m hopeful that where we saw

the fire yesterday was to the rear of the building and I hope that can be salvaged,” he said. Scotland’s community safety minister Elena Whitham paid tribute to the

firefighters who tackled the blaze, saying: “Their sheer bravery and professionalism must be commended.