Police are treating a fire which caused serious damage to two properties and a car in Perthshire as suspicious.
The blaze in Oudenarde, on other side of the M90 from Bridge of Earn, started in a car parked outside a home and quickly spread to two adjacent properties.
The Alexander Drive house at which the vehicle was parked quickly caught light and police say “extensive” structural damage has been caused to the building.
The car was completely destroyed and flames, which police say were started deliberately, quickly spread to a next door neighbour’s property, causing serious damage there too.
A wooden carport, which spanned between the two affected properties, was completely devoured by flames, which leaped from the covering to the two buildings’ front porches.
The blaze started at around 8.40 on Wednesday night, emergency services said.
Three fire engines from Perth rushed to the street and crews battled to extinguish the inferno, sending a stop message to the control room two hours later.
Nobody was injured in the fire, but The Courier understands residents were inside at least one of the affected properties at the time.
Officers began appealing for information the following morning and quickly labelled the fire as suspicious.
A joint investigation to establish the full circumstances is being carried out by Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Detective Sergeant David Rice said: “Fortunately no one was injured but a vehicle has been destroyed, extensive damage caused to one property and serious damage to a neighbouring property.
“We are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the street, both before or after the fire, to get in touch.
“I am also asking anyone with private CCTV or dash-cam that may help with our enquiries to get in touch.
“If you can help please contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 3227 of Wednesday, 13 January, 2021, or make a call anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Neighbours gathered outside as the flames could be seen and heard as they engulfed the building.
One said: “We were made aware at about 9pm. We could hear the crackling.
“The first thing we did was phone the emergency services to make sure they were on their way.
“I thought something had caught fire in the porch.
“There were lots of people watching outside. I don’t doubt whoever set the fire was watching.”