Vandals setting fire to school was “an attack on the community”

The former St Marys Primary building.

Thugs who set an old Dundee school ablaze have launched an “attack on the community”, according to local councillor Tom Ferguson.

Mr Ferguson has warned that fireraising “will not be tolerated” after vandals set a building at the former St Mary’s Primary School alight.

Emergency services rushed to the site on St Mary’s Lane on Sunday night and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has now confirmed the blaze was started deliberately.

Mr Ferguson said: “I went to that school and these buildings are an important part of Lochee’s regeneration either the buildings themselves or the ground they are on.

“This is an attack on our community and it will not be tolerated in Lochee.

“I will be looking into this personally, particularly the security of other unused buildings.”

Firefighting crews were called to the blaze shortly before 12.30am on Monday. The fire had broken out in a ground-floor room.

Two appliances from the Macalpine Road station tackled the fire and were on the scene for around two hours.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were deployed to extinguish the flames.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue spokesman confirmed that the blaze had been started deliberately and that an investigation is under way.

Workers have now attended the site to assess the damage and any repairs that might be necessary.

A spokesman for the council said: “We are now assessing the extent of the damage.”

It costs the fire service at least £2,000 an hour to attend fires, many of which are started deliberately.

Fireraising costs the city £1.25 million, assuming an average of at least one hour per incident last year.

This could be much higher taking into account major fires, like the one at Strathmartine Hospital, which raged for more than six hours earlier this year.

A total of 623 deliberately set fires tore through the city last year, 82 of which were classed as “primary fires” in houses, buildings, cars or anything with monetary value.