A petrified Edinburgh mom saw her five-year-old daughter’s bedroom fill with thick smoke when a fire started on the landing of their building.
Natalia Ruszkowska lives in an apartment on the 9th floor of Castleview House in Moredun, one of four high-rise buildings that are continually the target of fires, according to Edinburgh Live.
The 30-year-old fears she and her disabled child could be trapped on the property if another fire breaks out as her daughter needs a wheelchair and the elevators often don’t work, making them almost impossible to descend the nine floors of stairs to escape.
She must have already woken up her little one in the middle of the night because of fires started in the building, with no other choice but to barricade himself in the living room with windows in an attempt to ventilate the smoky apartment.
The fire department recently witnessed four incidents, each requiring up to five fire trucks to rush to the scene due to the volume of residents in the buildings.
On several occasions, arsonists carelessly lit the common areas and shots from garbage cans spread smoke throughout the building and terrified residents.
âMy daughter is in a wheelchair and I am really scared for our safety in the event of a fire. Evacuation is not possible because my five year old daughter uses a wheelchair and cannot walk the stairs.
âI contacted the board many times about this issue, contacted the MP and found myself dealing with this without any communication with any of them. I am terrified because I suffer from anxiety and depression and I feel like one night we will burn.
âThe elevators are broken many times, so I have to carry my daughter in her chair up a flight of stairs.
âWe have a shower in a tub and I have to lift it in every time, which really takes a toll on my back. No one is listening and I’m at the end of my rope at this point.
âMy health is deteriorating, I have carpal tunnel syndrome which means my hands give up when I carry things, so carrying my daughter is really hard for me.
âBecause of autism and the way my daughter has her seizures, when she gets them she hits her toys hard on the windows.
âI’m afraid one day she will fall. I constantly find myself stressing out and watching her very closely, it becomes obsessive because of our height and the fear I have for her safety.
âWe need a voice, because after contacting the MP and the council, I was left with no response to a request for a suitable place for my daughter. Just to keep her safe.
“Is that too much to ask?
âEarlier this year, there was a fire at Castleview House where I live in the trash shoot and my apartment filled with smoke. It was night.
“My daughter’s bedroom is closest to the door so I had to get her out of bed while she was sleeping and move her to the living room where I had to open all the windows and barricade the door with a wet towel so that the smoke does not reach us
âWe spent two hours in the living room with the windows open, while my daughter slept on my sofa covered with my dressing gown.
âI’m at the end of my rope now with the repeated fires and I’m afraid for our safety. People need to be aware of this and the fact that it has already been reported to the board but nothing has been done. This is the worst the region has experienced in the 9 years I have lived here.
Community Sergeant Grant Robertson has confirmed that Scottish Police are investigating the fires and working with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services and Edinburgh Council to put an end to the dangerous incidents.
The Edinburgh Council has been contacted.