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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 15:51 GMT
Wiring 'cause' of city blaze
A firefighter surveys the damage
Several buildings were destroyed
Faulty wiring has been identified as the "most likely cause" of a blaze which destroyed part of Edinburgh's historic Old Town.

Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade said the electrical fault theory was based on the evidence currently available.

However, it stressed that its team had not been able to carry out a full investigation.

The blaze, which broke out on 7 December, was the most serious in the Scottish capital for many years.

It destroyed more than a dozen properties in linked premises up to seven storeys high, including the Gilded Balloon comedy club.

The most likely cause of the fire may have been electrical in origin
Fire brigade spokeswoman
The cost of the damage caused in the Old Town, which is designated a World Heritage Site, was estimated at millions of pounds.

Fire investigators have been hindered by the ferocity of the fire, which left most of the buildings too unsafe to examine thoroughly.

However, they believe it started in a converted lift shaft between the Living Room and Club Loca pubs.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade said it would be several weeks before a report would be ready to be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

'Fully satisfied'

"The most likely cause of the fire may have been electrical in origin," she said.

"But we cannot exclude at this time other possibilities unless further evidence is presented to the fire investigation team.

"We are fully satisfied with the conclusions of the fire investigation team given the evidence available at this time."



Pauline McLean reports
"Three months after the blaze the clean-up continues"

Pauline McLean reports
"The fire has brought an unlikely and rare opportunity"

Digging among city ruins
20 Feb 03 |  Scotland
Demolition begins after fire
11 Dec 02 |  Scotland
Experts sift through blaze debris
10 Dec 02 |  Scotland
City's heritage largely unscathed
09 Dec 02 |  Scotland
In pictures: City's fire aftermath
09 Dec 02 |  Scotland

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