Firefighters rescued five people from flats in Perth following a severe fire in a stairwell overnight.
Sixteen people had to be moved to temporary accommodation while Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews battled to prevent the fire spreading to the roof of the building.
One woman received a precautionary check-up from ambulance paramedics at the scene but she did not need hospital treatment.
The fire, which involved items stored within a drying area of the four-storey block in the city’s South Street, saw an emergency call made to Dundee Control around 3:15am (Thursday 5 May).
The extent of the heat, smoke and flames caused significant damage, including melted light fittings, charred door facings and power having to be disconnected because of the impact on the electrics.
Station Manager Brian Robertson said: “This incident highlights the dangers associated with leaving combustible materials in common stairwells and drying areas.
“We actively campaign to strongly discourage people from leaving these items within drying rooms and near doors and stairwells as escape routes can be compromised.
“On this occasion fire crews were required to lead residents to a place of safety after they were unable to make their own escape out of the building.
“There is no doubt this fire escalated due to the fact that these combustible materials had been stored within the drying room area.”
He added: “Our message to the public is clear – don’t store combustible items within communal areas or allow rubbish to block escape routes.
“Make sure wheelie bins or sacks are not placed against your home, under windows or next to gas or electric boxes as fire and smoke can quickly spread to buildings.
“This fire had the potential to be even more serious given the amount of combustible material in the staircase and drying areas.”
A joint investigation has been launched involving officers from Police Scotland and the SFRS Fire Investigation Unit.
Residents of all but one of the properties have since been able to return home and SFRS officers have visited homes in the area to offer free home fire safety visits.
The short visits, which are easy to arrange, allow firefighters to make sure a home and everyone it is protected by adequate fire detection.
Firefighters visiting homes also help residents create fire escape plans and share their advice on general fire safety to protect communities.
Free home fire safety visits are available by calling 0800 073 1999, texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800, filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk or by calling your local fire station.
For more information, go to www.firescotland.gov.uk