Evacuation after fire at garage causes gas cylinder explosion
A SERIOUS fire forced hundreds of people out of their homes last night amid fears of an explosion.
The evacuation in Monifieth, Angus, was ordered after it emerged three gas cylinders were being stored in a commercial garage in Tay Street where the blaze broke out yesterday lunchtime.
A policewoman, who was one of the first police officers on the scene, was slightly injured when one of the cylinders exploded.
Fire crews remained at the scene last night as they waited for the cylinders to cool to a safe temperature.
Those residents within 200 metres of the blaze were told they could not return to their homes given the risk of an explosion from the cylinders.
The fire, which broke out around 1.30pm, also caused damage to several houses.
Tayside Fire and Rescue brought the fire under control with four appliances and 20 crew tackling the blaze at its height.
The injured policewoman was treated by paramedics for minor injuries. No-one else was injured.
Alternative accommodation was arranged at Monifieth High School for those who were unable to make their own arrangements.
The exclusion zone was due to remain in place for 24 hours and Tayside Police advised people to avoid the area until restrictions had been lifted because of road closures and disruption in the area.
Meanwhile, in Edinburgh a four-year-old child was one of nine people rescued from a blazing tenement last night.
The fire broke out in a first- floor flat in Montgomery Street shortly after 6pm.
Two residents on the top floor of the building were rescued by fire crews using a 13metre ladder and the remaining casualties were led to safety on foot. All were taken to the Royal Infirmary and treated for smoke inhalation.
Lothian Fire Brigade said 35 firefighters attended the incident, which was brought under control by 7.50pm.
A Fire Investigation Unit was at the building late into the night to determine the cause of the fire, which is not yet known.