Two women have died in a major flat fire in the Hilton area of Aberdeen.
Firefighters rushed to Back Hilton Road at around 6pm last night.
Tragically, police have confirmed that two women were pronounced dead at the scene.
A baby was taken to hospital as a precaution and was later discharged.
A joint investigation between Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has been launched.
SFRS area commander Andrew Wright is the local senior officer for Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray.
He said: “We were alerted at 5.58pm on Monday, January 29, to reports of a dwelling fire on Back Hilton Road, Aberdeen.
“Operations Control mobilised seven fire appliances and specialist resources to the scene, where firefighters extinguished a fire affecting the first floor of a block of flats. Nearby properties were also evacuated as a precaution.
“Sadly, two people passed away at the scene. A further five casualties were rescued and treated by the Scottish Ambulance Service. Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this incident at this difficult time.”
‘An extremely challenging incident’
He continued: “Our crews demonstrated unwavering dedication and professionalism as they dealt with an extremely challenging incident in collaboration with the Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland colleagues.
“Crews worked tirelessly to make the area safe before leaving the scene at 9.02pm. A joint investigation with Police Scotland is underway.”
Police say there no apparent suspicious circumstances.
One neighbour told The Press and Journal: “I think the fire service had it under control pretty quickly.
“The road didn’t reopen until quite early this morning.
“It looked pretty serious. There were a lot of fire engines, ambulances, and policemen.
“I don’t think anyone has been allowed back in yet.”
‘Really scary stuff’
Another said: “I couldn’t really see it from my side. But I couldn’t get out of my flat this morning though due to the street being closed.
“Everything was all cordoned off.
“The scene looks really bad, I saw it when I was round to the shop, you can see the damage.
“Really scary stuff, especially for the poor people in that building.”
Local Labour councillor Deena Tissera said: “This is a tragic event where two women have lost their lives in a fire. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of those two women.
“Thankfully, a young baby has survived the fire and all of our attention must turn to the baby’s wellbeing. The fire service attended the fire quickly and did their best to save the lives of the two women.
“An investigation must now take place to understand the cause of the fire and to see what lessons can be learned.”
MP for Aberdeen North, Kirsty Blackman, added: “This is a very sad incident and my thoughts are with all of those who are feeling the loss of their loved ones.
“My thanks go to the fire service and other emergency services for their swift response.”
Investigation launched into fatal Aberdeen flat fire
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “At around 6pm on Monday, January 29, officers were called to a report of a fire at a property on Back Hilton Road in Aberdeen.
“Emergency services attended and two women were pronounced dead at the scene.
“A baby was taken to hospital as a precaution and was later discharged.
“The fire was put out by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precaution.
“The road was closed but has now re-opened and we would like to thank people for their patience.
“A joint investigation with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is ongoing to establish the full circumstances.
“However, there are no apparent suspicious circumstances at this time.”
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokeswoman added: “We received a call at 5.59pm on January 29 to attend an incident on Back Hilton Road, Aberdeen.
“14 resources were dispatched to the scene including ambulances, trauma teams and special operation response teams. Four patients were treated and discharged at scene and one paediatric patient was transported to hospital as a precaution.”