A firefighter has died in hospital after last week’s massive fire in Edinburgh, police have confirmed. At about 11.35am on Monday, 23 January, 2023, police attended to assist Scottish Fire and Rescue Service following reports of a fire at the premises.
One firefighter was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh by ambulance, where he died on Friday, 27 January.
He was 38-year-old Barry Martin, from Fife.
Mr Martin, who was based in Edinburgh, had been in a critical condition at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh since the blaze.
A police officer was treated for smoke inhalation at hospital and was later released.
Superintendent David Robertson, of Edinburgh Division, said: “Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Barry at this very difficult time.
“Our enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.”
Mr Martin is the first Scottish firefighter to die while on duty since Ewan Williamson, who died after being injured at the Balmoral Bar in Edinburgh in 2009.
Ross Haggart, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s interim chief officer, said he and his colleagues were “devastated” at Mr Martin’s death.
“I speak for the entire service when I say that we are all devastated by the loss of Barry and our thoughts remain with his family, friends and colleagues at this deeply distressing time,” he said.
“Both Barry’s family and the service have been overwhelmed with the messages of support we have received and we thank everyone for the time they have taken to share these.
“Barry’s family would also like to thank all the medical staff who have cared for him.”
Mr Martin was one of five firefighters taken to hospital following the blaze at the building in Princes Street.
Two were treated for burns and two for smoke inhalation and have since been discharged.
A police officer was taken to the same hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation and later released.
At its height, 22 fire appliances were sent to the scene at Rose Street, with more than 100 firefighters battling the blaze, which was reported at about 11.30am.
Witnesses saw a soot-covered firefighter being helped from the building by colleagues.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, tweeted: “This is dreadfully sad news. My deepest condolences go to Barry’s family, friends and colleagues.
“This is a terrible tragedy for all who loved him – but also a reminder of the selfless courage our firefighters demonstrate in the line of duty each and every day.”
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