Firefighters battle blaze at backpackers' hostel in Inverness

Firefighters are battling a blaze at a fire at a Highland hostel.

Emergency services were called to the Eastgate Backpackers Hostel in Inverness at shortly after 5.10am on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it had been reported that people were still inside the building when they arrived but that everyone had been accounted for.

"We got the call at around 5.13am to a fire at a hostel and have five pumps at the scene along with an aerial platform,” she said.

"Crews are carrying out a search of the premises and fire fighting from the aerial platform."

Area manager, Billy Wilson added: “35 firefighters from the SFRS are in attendance, they are working closely with colleagues from Police Scotland to ensure the incident is brought to a successful conclusion.

"There are no reports of any casualties.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "The three-storey hostel had 51 people within the property, all of whom are accounted for and are uninjured. They have been taken onwards to a reception centre which has been set up in the Spectrum Centre, at Farraline Park by the Highland Council and British Red Cross.

"The High Street is currently closed from Stephen's Brae-Inglis Street to Crown Road while the fire is fully extinguished and area is secured.

"The public are asked to avoid this area but note that all businesses within the Eastgate Shopping Centre are open."

Area commander for Inverness chief inspector Graeme Murdoch said: "Following the initial multi agency response, we now report the fire has been brought under control.

"We are happy to report that all occupants of the hostel were evacuated and there appear to be no casualties. Welfare arrangements are in place for those affected.

"Investigation of the cause of the fire will now commence and we are actively seeking to minimise disruption to the city centre.”

View Firefighters search burning hostel with people thought to be trapped in a larger map

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