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Police probe wilful fire raising at former Dundee church

Lochee Old at St Luke’s Parish Church.
Lochee Old at St Luke’s Parish Church.

An investigation has been launched after firebugs targeted a former Dundee church.

Emergency crews were scrambled to Bright Street on Saturday, after smoke was seen billowing from Lochee Old at St Luke’s Parish Church.

Two appliances from the Macalpine Fire Station were called to the scene.

Neighbours said the fire had taken hold within the church hall at the rear of the main building that was gutted by a massive blaze in 2017.

Police Scotland confirmed the incident is being treated as wilful fire raising, after crews extinguished rubbish which had been set alight shortly after 4pm.

Concerned neighbours said there have been issues with teenagers accessing the grounds of the former church, which was built in 1830.

‘Easy target’

Resident, Brian Coutts said the current condition of the building has made it an “easy target”.

Brian, 69 added: “I saw the fire trucks and police on the street yesterday afternoon.

“Thankfully I don’t think the fire was too bad but it’s beside the point.

“The problem you’ve got is that the building is an easy target following the fire a few years back.

Police have launched an investigation into the fire on Bright Street.

“I’m certainly aware of one or two instances when people have accessed the grounds since.

“There has been a few fires in Lochee recently, I was aware of the incident on Harefield Road involving the caravan during the week.”

‘Orange glow’

Another resident confirmed teenagers have been “regularly” gaining access to the grounds in recent times.

He added: “The fire took hold just after 4pm and the fire crews where here a short time after.

“You could see the orange glow from the blaze but it was hard to tell just how bad it was.

“It was in a bit I would have described as the former church hall and the smoke was billowing through the roof.

“Thankfully there doesn’t appear to be too much disruption or further damage caused.

“There was still a visible police presence on the scene just after 5.30pm after the firies had left.

“The building and it’s surrounding grounds are regularly accessed by teenagers, you do wonder what is going to happen the next time round.

“It was earmarked for redevelopment in the past I’m sure but something needs to be done.”

Police Scotland

A police spokeswoman said: “At around 5pm on Saturday, 15 January, 2022, officers were called to a report of a fire at a church on Bright Street, Dundee.

“The fire is being treated as wilful and inquiries are ongoing.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman confirmed crews used a PPV fan and hose reel jet at the scene.

She added: “We received reports of rubbish on fire on Bright Street at 4.34pm. Two crews from Macalpine Fire Station attended the scene.”

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