Firefighters still tackling blaze which damaged ‘Harry Potter’ cafe

Firefighters remain at the scene of a blaze which has caused damage to the cafe where JK Rowling wrote part of the Harry Potter series.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was called to a blaze affecting several properties at George IV Bridge in Edinburgh at 6.18am on Tuesday.

A firefighter was taken to hospital for precautionary checks but released later that morning, while one other person was treated at the scene.

Images from the area early on Tuesday showed smoke pouring from a branch of Patisserie Valerie, next door to the Elephant House cafe, which was made famous as the place where Rowling created some of her stories.

Edinburgh city fire
A man was seen removing items from the Elephant House cafe (Andrew Milligan/PA)

SFRS said four fire engines and a height appliance remained at the scene at lunchtime on Wednesday.

A man thought to be the owner of the Elephant House was seen carrying an elephant sculpture and a framed text out of the cafe on Wednesday.

Some road closures were still in place in the area.

Elephant House owner David Taylor told the BBC his building had suffered smoke and water damage, although the fire had not spread to it.

He told the broadcaster: “I feel absolutely gutted about this.

“At best, we can hope for opening in a few weeks’ time, but if there is structural damage too then it isn’t bearable to think about.

“It’s really quite disturbing because we had just got back to some semblance of normality after two years, although we were only running at about 50% of our festival trade.”

Edinburgh city fire
The fire broke out on Tuesday morning (Matt Donlan/Twitter/PA)

Police in Edinburgh tweeted: “Due to a fire #GeorgeIVBridge and #CandlemakerRow will remain closed for the foreseeable.

“Please avoid the area meantime. Emergency services remain in attendance.”

An SFRS spokeswoman said: “We were alerted at 6.18am on Tuesday August 24 to reports of a building on fire at George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.

“A total of 12 appliances and two height vehicles were mobilised to the area, where more than 60 firefighters worked to tackle the fire which affected a number of properties.

“Four appliances and one height vehicle currently remain at the scene.”