A tragic young mum killed in a horrific flat inferno was terrified of fire from childhood, her brother has revealed.
Mum-of-three Rosie Atkins, 28, died in the blaze at a pal’s in Oxgangs Park, Edinburgh, on Saturday, November 14.
Tearful older brother Jack Atkins also told of his nephews’ devastating loss as the family faces an agonising wait for answers over how his sister died.
Dad-of-three Jack, 30, said: “She wouldn’t have been anywhere near fire. We know her life, she’s my sister. She didn’t like flames next to her. She wouldn’t go anywhere near bonfires when we were kids.
“Rosie would get scared of fire horrifically. She just didn’t want to be involved. If she was in a conscious state she would’ve put herself through a window and broken her legs to survive.”
Her boys Joshua, 14, Mylo, eight, and six-year-old Charlie were staying the weekend with grandma Margaret Frances Muir Atkins, 53, just around the corner from the blaze.
Jack added: “It’s hard because you don’t know if they understand or not. They were one of the first to find out the news.
“Milo speaks about it every day - how she didn’t deserve it. He says ‘my mum was beautiful’. It’s because they don’t know what happened and it just goes straight over their heads.
“For the first couple of days we were hoping it’s not true, hoping they’ve got the wrong person.
“Rosie dedicated herself to being the best mum she could. She was totally devoted to her children. They don’t have that massive figure.”
And the family have been told by the police and fire service it will take up to nine months for answers over what caused the blaze.
Jack said: “We don’t know what happened. They haven’t given us any information. All we know is that she was round at this friend’s house and then this freak accident has happened and Rosie’s not with us.
“They’re saying they can’t give us a definitive answer for six to nine months until toxicologies and skin samples have been done.
“We’ve never been through anything like this, we don’t know what to expect. You watch these programmes and they seem to turn things around in a couple of days but we’ve been told we’ll have to wait. We just don’t know.
Fisherman Jack got a call in the middle of the night and raced up to Edinburgh the next morning from his home in North Yorkshire.
Rosie’s sons who lived with her in the Calders are currently staying with family as they try to come to terms with their devastating loss.
Jack said: “Just a day before I’d arranged to come up. It was Friday the 13th and I had a bad feeling, I said 'I bet something weird is going to happen'. Rosie was my best friend.”
And of the fundraiser set-up to help cover funeral costs, he said: “I’d like to thank each and every person.”
A 40-year-old man was taken to hospital after the fire which the police are treating as non-suspicious.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit the fundraising page.