Vandals tried to set a Fife primary school on fire during night time raids.
Emergency services were called to St. Joseph’s RC Primary School in Kelty on Monday and Tuesday night amid reports of anti-social behaviour.
The flames failed to take hold but Cowdenbeath Conservative councillor Darren Watt is urging local residents to think about the potentially deadly consequences of their actions.
Mr Watt said: “I am deeply concerned to hear of the recent fire-related incidents at St Joseph’s Primary School in Kelty.
“These reckless youths are not only putting their own lives in danger but the lives of our brave firefighters who are sent to tackle any blaze.
“They are also indirectly risk putting other lives in danger.
“Just earlier this year, firefighters were dealing with a wheelie bin fire at this very same school when a road traffic collision happened nearby.
“Thankfully both incidents weren’t too serious but the delay responding to the RTC could have been the difference between life and death.”
Mr Watt has been told by the local station manager that education programmes will be stepped up in schools, but he urged parents, guardians and carers to warn children about the dangers of fire-raising and the effect their actions could have on others.
Sarah Else, Education Officer for Fife Council, confirmed the damage to the school, adding the authority was “very disappointed” by the acts of vandalism.
She said: “This mindless action is disturbing and upsetting for the whole school community, and also puts unnecessary pressure on Fife Council budgets.
“Causing fires and climbing on roofs is dangerous for both the vandals and for local people who live near to the building.”
Inspector Gavin Cameron from Cowdenbeath Police Station said: “We are aware of reports of youths congregating on a school building in Kelty and have responded to reports of wilful fire-raising at the school along with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 July.
“Deliberately starting fires is extremely dangerous and risks the safety of those involved and the wider community. I would appeal to anyone who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the area, or has information that can help identify those involved, to come forward and assist with our inquiries.
“I would like to stress that school and community buildings that are not in operation over the school holidays should not be used as an area for young people to congregate. In addition, climbing on buildings is both unsafe and irresponsible, and can lead to serious injury and structural damage.”
Anyone with information can contact Cowdenbeath Police Station via 101, quoting incident number 4338 of 24 July, or make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.