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First pictures inside Jenners after fire

[Press center6] time:2023-06-02 04:26:56 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center8 click:161order

Images from inside Edinburgh's Jenners building have revealed only two rooms were damaged in a fatal fire at the department store.

The structure of the Princes Street building was not damaged and the well-known grand hall was untouched by the blaze.

Firefighter Barry Martin, 38, died at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh following the incident.

The owner said January's fire was "very small" despite initial reports.

A room and a changing room area in what was the menswear department of the store were damaged.

The area had been stripped out during construction works which were part of a four-year renovation project at the building - one of the oldest department stores in the world.

Police Scotland returned the building to businessman Anders Holch Povlsen 10 days ago following an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Edward Rennie, director of management construction firm Redside Property Consultants, said the fire started on the Rose Street side of the building.

"We are extremely relieved at the limited extent of the fire damage," he said.

"There is no structural damage anywhere from the fire.

"The atrium [grand hall] is the most sensitive part of the building from a heritage aspect and it is completely intact.

"During the refit the historic atrium balustrade will be removed and restored off site and reinforced with metal to meet current standards."

He said it would take 25 days to clear all the debris from the rooms damaged by the fire.

All the asbestos in the building had just been removed when the fire happened on 23 January.

Thousands of tonnes of material including 300 tonnes of metal had also been removed over 12 months of the refit just before the fire.

All the material was removed by hand and dropped down a lift shaft before being pushed through a large window onto Rose Street.

Mr Rennie added: "The fire damage to the building could have been horrific if it hadn't been stripped down due to the current refit."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "The police investigation remains ongoing so we are unable to provide any further detail at this stage."

Anders Krogh, from AAA United, the company that manages the building for Anders Holch Povlsen, said Barry Martin remained in their thoughts.

He told BBC Scotland a permanent memorial to Mr Martin would be erected in the building during the refit.

At its height, more than 100 firefighters and 22 fire appliances were at the scene of the "serious and complex fire" at the Jenners building.

Two other firefighters taken to hospital were treated for smoke inhalation, and two were treated for burns. A police officer also received treatment.

Founded in 1838, the Jenners building is the oldest department store in Scotland.

It was founded as "Kennington & Jenner" in 1838 by Charles Jenner, a linen draper, and Charles Kennington.

The store has never left its site on Princes Street, but its original building was destroyed by fire in 1892.

In 1893 the Scottish architect William Hamilton Beattie was appointed to design a replacement, which subsequently opened in 1895.

The building was sold to private investors in 2005 after House of Fraser bought the Jenners brand and property.

It was then bought by Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen in 2017 for a reported £53m.

During the department store refit disused rooms at the top and rear of the building will be turned into a luxury hotel.

(editor-in-charge:Press center8)

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