Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Dalkeith woman treated after trying to save birds from fire

A Midlothian woman was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation after attempting to rescue birds from an aviary which had been set alight at the rear of her home.

Eighteen birds were killed when the aviary was destroyed at Hill Place in Dalkeith.

Police said it was one of several incidents of wilful fire-raising in the area in the early hours of Saturday.

In another incident, a tarpaulin was set alight next to the wall of a house.

The property in Stone Place was occupied at the time by a family, including two young children.

At the same address, a wheelie bin was deliberately set on fire and placed against a car, causing £3,000 worth of damage.

Police want to hear from anyone who was in the Mayfield area of Dalkeith between 03:00 and 04:00 on Saturday and who may have seen anything suspicious.

They are particularly keen to trace two young men, both about 5ft 8in tall and wearing hooded tops, who were seen at about 04:00 in the vicinity of the fire at Stone Place.

Det Sgt Stevie Bertram said: "The owner of the aviary suffered from smoke inhalation after trying to save her birds.

"She had to be treated by medical staff at the scene and in addition to her physical distress she is distraught about the loss of the birds which she has nurtured for a decade.

"In the other incident a family, including two young children, were put at risk by the reckless actions of those responsible for setting these fires.

"On both occasions, the householders were alerted to the danger by neighbours who became aware of the fires."

He added: "We are treating these fires as suspicious and it is a matter of luck that no-one has been seriously injured."