Murder inquiry launched after Edinburgh flat fire

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Chalmers Crescent
Image caption,
Police closed off Chalmers Crescent following the fire

A murder inquiry has been launched after a man died following a suspicious fire at a flat in Edinburgh.

Police said Stewart Taylor, 33, who was originally from Aberdeen, died after suffering serious head injuries in the incident in Chalmers Crescent.

His 30-year-old girlfriend is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after what police described as "a particularly violent attack".

They are seeking a man seen leaving the flat in a van shortly before the blaze.

About 40 police officers are at the scene of the incident.

Police said a disturbance was heard in the flat in Chalmers Crescent at 0700 GMT on Monday, followed by a sighting of the man driving away in a small white van.

A man of a similar description was seen acting suspiciously in the area at about midnight on Sunday.

He was described as being white, of medium build, 5ft 7ins and 40 to 50 years old.

'Acting suspiciously'

He was of scruffy appearance and was wearing a dark three-quarter length jacket and a dark "Beanie" hat.

Det Ch Insp Gareth Blair, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "We want to speak to anyone who saw the small white van being driven north on Chalmers Crescent or elsewhere in the area about 0800 GMT.

"Similarly, we want to speak to anyone saw a man acting suspiciously in the area from midnight into Monday morning.

"We know that a group of men and women had arrived at the block of flats around midnight, and it is possible that they may have seen or heard something that may be of interest to us.

"I would appeal to them to contact police as soon as possible, and I would urge any other members of the public who have any other information that can assist our inquiries to get in touch."

He added: "At this time we have high-visibility uniformed patrols in the area of Chalmers Crescent in order to provide reassurance to local residents, and officers are on hand to speak to members of the public if they have any concerns regarding the ongoing activity there."

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