A major fire investigation is getting under way this morning after a massive blaze destroyed a former church in Lochee.
Massive fire at Lochee Church in Dundee. Video by resident Holli Cowen, evacuated from her nearby home. pic.twitter.com/hNqYYCcKiT
— Davy Shanks (@Davyshanks) September 4, 2017
The blaze at Lochee Old Parish Church was reported shortly after 9pm and had soon taken hold of the derelict building, with huge flames rising into the night sky.
Hundreds of people gathered in the nearby High Street to watch as firefighters battled to bring the flames under control.
Inferno in the high street
Posted by Brett Angus on Monday, 4 September 2017
There were no reports of injuries, but the extent of the blaze meant local residents were evacuated as there were concerns the fire might spread to nearby buildings.
They were allowed to return to their homes around midnight.
Although the main church had not been in use for some years, buildings to the rear were still the base for a number of community activities.
Police and fire crews raced to the scene and the blaze was brought under control before midnight, although crews remained at the scene overnight to damp down.
On Tuesday morning one appliance remained on scene to continue this process.
Despite fears that the fire might spread into The Range shopping centre next door, police have confirmed it did not spread to any other buildings.
At the fire’s peak, Scottish Fire and Rescue had six appliances on the scene as well as two aerial ladders.
In all, 34 firefighters were required to bring the flames under control.
More than 40 calls were made to 999 after the fire broke out.
A major investigation is now under way, and the area around the former church remains cordoned off.
People in the area are already speculating that the fire may have been started deliberately by youths.
The fire is the second major blaze in the city in recent weeks. The Mill O’ Mains community pavilion was destroyed by fire in late July.
Police believe youths started that blaze but have yet to detain anyone in connection with their investigation.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: “My thoughts are with all of those affected by the fire.
“Can’t imagine anything more devastating than watching this unfold and the worry of it spreading.
“It’s events like this that ring home how vital a role our fire crews and police play.”