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Emergency services / Fire fighters tackle blaze at bird observatory

The Fair Isle Bird Observatory.

FIRE FIGHTERS from Lerwick and Fair Isle are currently tackling a fire at the world famous bird observatory on Fair Isle.

Fire control said the incident is ongoing. Everybody has been accounted for and there are no injuries.

Fire crews on the tiny island were called out at 11.54am on Sunday morning following reports that a fire had taken hold of the wooden building.

Extra water pumps and one crew from Lerwick have been flown to the island by the Coastguard helicopter, and are assisting the Fair Isle crew.

Lerwick lifeboat gets ready to take equipment to Fair Isle on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Fiona Cope

A second crew from Lerwick and one from Sandwick are currently mobilised and will also be flown to the island. Additional equipment will be taken to Fair Isle on the lifeboat.

A spokesman at the Dundee based fire control room said crews have been using two main jets, two hose reel jets and two sets of breathing apparatus in their efforts to get the blaze under control.

The observatory on the island halfway between Shetland and Orkney is well known among bird watchers, nationally and internationally.

The building now affected by fire was only opened in June 2010 following a £4 million investment from a number of funding bodies including the trust that runs the observatory.

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