Water from River Tweed used to put out Innerleithen blaze

Firefighters tackling a blaze at Innerleithen's Station Yard on Wednesday, February 13.
Firefighters tackling a blaze at Innerleithen's Station Yard on Wednesday, February 13.

Scottish Water has refuted claims that poor water pressure hampered efforts to extinguish a major blaze in Innerleithen last week.

Three industrial units were destroyed in the fire at Station Yard on Wednesday, February 13.

Around 30 firefighters spent eight hours tackling the blaze at the industrial site in Traquair Road, using water from the River Tweed.

Stephen McLaughlin, managing director of surface colour specialists ColourWorks, said that almost six years of hard work had gone up in smoke.

Writing on Facebook, Mr Mclaughlin said: “The fire, believed to have started outside the building, has reduced the building to a pathetic shell that once contained a number of thriving businesses.

“Thanks to everyone who has rallied round, it’s a testament to the great spirit of camaraderie and cooperation that exists within the small business community in Station Yard and nearby.

“Our thanks also go out to the Innerleithen Fire Crew who were first on the scene and tried to save the unit.

“Worryingly for anyone who lives in the area, they were hampered for nearly an hour by poor mains pressure.”

Motorcycle garage Darl Services, which has been based in Station Yard since 2011, lost its unit and 14 bikes in the fire.

Owner Duncan Lawrie described it as “a very sad day”.

Scottish Water insisted that there was “ample” water supply and pressure for all customers and businesses in Innerleithen.

A company spokesperson said: “Our network is not designed to provide large volumes of water at one time.

“As the fire service would have been using a significant amount of water when attending this incident, this could have impacted the pressure throughout our network at that time.

“If there is a major incident, such as a fire, our engineers are on call 24/7 to assist.”

Mike Jaffray, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s group manager for the Borders, said that fire fighters use their judgement and experience to decide if additional water supplies are needed.

“On this occasion firefighters accessed water from the nearby River Tweed, which allowed them to contain and extinguish this fire,” he said.

Six appliances from Innerleithen, Peebles, Galashiels, Dalkeith and Penicuik joined a command support unit from Edinburgh on the scene shortly after the alarm was raised around 1.15pm.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.