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Police urged to shop youths suspected of Dunsinane blaze

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Children returning home wearing smoke-stained clothes could have been involved in a significant weekend blaze in Dundee, parents have been warned.

Police are hunting a group of youths thought to have been involved in the setting of a blaze within industrial units on Dundee’s Dunsinane Avenue.

The fire, which officers say could have caused “considerable damage”, was set around 7:40pm on Saturday.

It’s believed youths forced their way into the yard of an industrial unit before lighting a wooden pallet.

While officers review CCTV images to try to ascertain what happened, parents and carers in the area are asked to report any concerns relating to children returning home smelling of smoke.

A Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed: “While this burned for some time, it was incredibly fortunate that the fire did not take hold on the building itself. This could have caused considerable damage.

“While it is appreciated that there is little chance of anyone having seen the people responsible for this at the time, we would ask any parents or carers who are aware of their youngsters coming home smelling of smoke or with soot on their clothes, and who they know frequent that area, to contact us. CCTV footage of the incident is being reviewed.

“Obviously, all parents and guardians have a responsibility for their children. They should speak with them and take the time to find out where their children are, who they are with and what they are doing.

“Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Tayside Division on 101 quoting CR/18027/17 or speak to any Police officer. ¬†Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

In a similar appeal for information, police have asked for help in tracing the culprits behind a series of early morning fires in the Charleston area of Dundee.

The fires were set between 2am and 4am on Tuesday.

A force spokesperson revealed: “At least five instances of wheelie bins being set on fire happened in Liff Road, Donalds Lane, Portmore Place, Brownlee Road, and near to the Lynch Sports Centre.

“Scottish Fire And Rescue Service extinguished each blaze, none of which caused any significant damage. The dangers of setting fire to a bin and contents cannot be overstated, as within bins may be items such as empty gas canisters or aerosols, which could explode.”

The taxpayer was forced to pay ¬£1 million to cover 500 “deliberate” fires in Dundee last year.

According to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), crews in the Dundee city area attend an average of 500 “deliberate” fires every year.

The service says intentional blazes “present a huge drain” and can tie up resources for long periods which, in turn, can delay firefighters ability to respond to emergency calls.

Whitfield and Fintry are responsible for the highest rate of intentional fires, according to the SFRS.