A pair have been jailed after a £100,000 blaze at a caravan park.
John Howell torched a static caravan in a bid to cover up a theft by his friend Alexander Laing.
The fire spread to two neighbouring mobile homes at the Loch Earn caravan park, both of which were empty at the time.
Other holiday makers were forced to flee their accommodation while staff battled to prevent the units from exploding.
Fire crews spent more than an hour working to put out the flames but none of the caravans could be saved.
Yesterday a sheriff told the pair it was “by the grace of God” that no one had been injured.
Depute fiscal Mairi Graham told Perth Sheriff Court Howell and Laing had been drinking in the park’s public bar on the evening of May 11 and left shortly after midnight.
A staff member heard banging coming from one of the caravans at around 12.45am and saw Laing dragging a duvet outside.
He told the employee: “I’ve just fell out with her, I’m going to sleep in the van.”
A short time later, two residents were woken by a loud bang and went outside where they saw the caravan in question was on fire.
Ms Graham said: “Other members of staff and residents came to assist with the fire whilst they waited for the fire service to arrive. They tried to put out the fire with a hose and also disconnected the gas canisters, which were next to the caravans and moved them out of the way to stop them exploding.”
The court was told police later found the van a mile away, with a drunken Laing and Howell asleep inside.
Laing, 40, of Langside Drive, Kennoway, previously admitted stealing items worth £370, including a vacuum cleaner, a TV, a kettle and five pots, from one of the static vans on May 12.
Howell, 34, of Hill Road, Kennoway, admitted wilfully setting fire to one of the caravans and causing extensive damage to it and to the two static vehicles next to it.
The first caravan to be torched was worth £55,000, with the others valued at £43,000 and £16,000. The owners were also each hit with a £2,500 bill to clean up their plots.
Lang’s solicitor Duncan McConnell said his client had addressed his problems with alcohol and mental health while he was on remand and wanted to apologise to the owners.
David Holmes, acting for Howell, said he was “ashamed and embarrassed” to find himself in court.
He said: “He went to set fire to one van to prevent it (the theft) becoming known. Because he had taken drink he did not have any judgement on what would happen.”
Sheriff Gillian Wade jailed Laing for two years and imposed a sentence of 27 months on Howell, telling them: “It’s by the grace of God that no one was injured.”