A derelict Fife hotel that was destroyed by a weekend fire had been used as a drinking den by youths, it has been claimed.
Fire and police officials remained stationed outside of the former Rescobie House Hotel in Leslie yesterday after a blaze on Sunday night ripped through the historic property.
The building, which until several years ago had operated as a renowned restaurant and hotel, is understood to have sustained significant damage in the inferno, which at one point required six fire appliances to bring under control.
An investigation will now launched into the cause of the fire, with one local resident claiming that trespassers had regularly been going in and out of the building.
Ray Noble said: “I have been here for a long time and when it was busy there was hardly a weekend when there wasn’t a wedding on.
“It has been empty for just over a year I think. I have seen some youths drinking there before. You would see people going past and dropping off the drink.
“The place was boarded up but they were ripped off so people could gain access again. This was always going to happen sooner or later but it’s a real shame.”
Fire crews were dousing the remains of the building with water yesterday morning as police officers remained at the driveway to the grounds.
Since closing as a business several years, the building and its grounds are understood to have changed hands several times, though there had been no talk of re-opening the premises as a business.
Confirming that officers were to investigate the cause of the blaze, a spokesperson for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “At 9.39pm on Sunday April 23 we were alerted to reports of a fire at the derelict Rescobie House Hotel in Leslie.
“Six appliances attended and firefighters extinguished the fire using high-power hoses. There were no casualties. An investigation into the cause of the fire will be carried out in due course.”