Firefighters remain at scene of blaze which damaged ‘Harry Potter’ cafe

·2-min read
Firefighters remain at the scene of the blaze in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
Firefighters remain at the scene of the blaze in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Firefighters remain at the scene of a blaze which has caused damage to the cafe where JK Rowling wrote part of the Harry Potter series.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was called to a blaze affecting several properties at George IV Bridge in Edinburgh at 6.18am on Tuesday.

A firefighter was taken to hospital for precautionary checks but released later that morning, while one other person was treated at the scene.

Images from the area early on Tuesday showed smoke pouring from a branch of Patisserie Valerie next door to the Elephant House cafe, which was made famous as the place where Rowling created some of her stories.

A man was seen removing items from the Elephant House cafe (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
A man was seen removing items from the Elephant House cafe (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

SFRS said four fire engines and a height appliance remained at the scene at lunchtime on Wednesday.

A man thought to be the owner of the Elephant House was seen carrying an elephant sculpture and a framed text out of the cafe on Wednesday.

Some road closures were still in place in the area.

Elephant House owner David Taylor told the BBC that his building sustained fire damage.

He told the broadcaster on Wednesday: “We thought yesterday that we would just have to deal with smoke and water damage but having been allowed a quick look inside today I can see that is not the case and in fact there is a lot of fire damage too.

“To say I’m devastated is an understatement. I think it will take months to rebuild, but it’s hard to say.

“Everyone has suffered over the last two years and we had been having a half decent festival, even although we were running at 50%, so to have suffered this fire is terrible.”

The fire broke out on Tuesday morning (Matt Donlan/Twitter/PA) (PA Media)
The fire broke out on Tuesday morning (Matt Donlan/Twitter/PA) (PA Media)

Police in Edinburgh tweeted: “Due to a fire #GeorgeIVBridge and #CandlemakerRow will remain closed for the foreseeable.

“Please avoid the area meantime. Emergency services remain in attendance.”

An SFRS spokeswoman said: “We were alerted at 6.18am on Tuesday August 24 to reports of a building on fire at George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.

“A total of 12 appliances and two height vehicles were mobilised to the area, where more than 60 firefighters worked to tackle the fire which affected a number of properties.

“Four appliances and one height vehicle currently remain at the scene.”

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