A hapless fireraiser could be facing jail after setting a massive blaze at a Fife factory then telling a passer-by he had set it alight.
Alistair Marshall set fire to the empty K Hartwall premises at the Queensway, Glenrothes, before being spotted leaving it. He then walked past a man standing nearby and told him: “I just set that on fire.”
Marshall then walked off, leaving the building well alight.
Depute fiscal Beverly Adam told Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court that the incident took place at around 8pm on July 8.
She said 10 fire engines had to turn out and roads nearby had to be closed because of fears that asbestos in the roof had been disturbed.
Miss Adam said: “A witness saw the accused leaving the building. The accused stated: ‘I just set that on fire’ and walked off towards a nearby Asda store. Only the accused was seen leaving the locus.
“Smoke had filled the premises and fire was found in the office area. It had been started by setting fire to a quantity of rubbish.
“Firefighters attended in an attempt to extinguish the blaze. There was concern that asbestos had been disturbed so the road was closed. It was found not to have been disturbed, in the end.
“The accused was traced on July 16 and, when interviewed, admitted the offence. He said he had not intended it to get that bad and that he didn’t know why he had done it.”
Marshall, 20, of Glenrothes, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of wilful fireraising.
Scott McKenzie, defending, said: “He lives with his parents, who are very supportive of him.”
Sheriff Grant McCulloch deferred sentence on Marshall until next month to allow social work background reports to be prepared.
The former roll cage manufacturing plant is owned by Fife Council, which is preparing to demolish it as part of a regeneration of the industrial estate.
The land has been earmarked for new business space.