Youths suspected of starting fire
Two teenagers have been identified as suspects in connection with a blaze which gutted an empty mansion in Kirkcudbright on Tuesday.
The News understands that the pair, a boy and a girl, are both aged 14 and live in the town.
According to sources, the girl was spoken to by police on Tuesday night following the devastating fire at Park House.
A police spokesperson was unable to confirm that information yesterday afternoon.
But he said: “Police officers are following a positive line of inquiry with regard to this crime.”
The blaze at the 12-bedroom property on the Dundrennan Road was reported by neighbours.
Henry and Stella Mosey at East Lodge phoned 999 just before 1pm.
According the Moseys the property has been vandalised many times by local youths.
And at least one incident involved attempted arson, Mr Mosey said.
He told the News: “We were forever chasing kids away from the property.
“On the 29th of June we went upstairs and found a fire had been lit in an old wooden drawer stuffed with papers.
“It was an arson attack. We spoke to the parents and told the owner.”
Mrs Mosey said: “Hopefully the police can investigate it and find out who did this.
“I think they should be brought to task. They have caused an awful lot of destruction. This was an accident waiting to happen.”
The Moseys frequently repaired or replaced boarded up windows and doors on behalf of owner Gerrard Johnston.
But security was soon breached and they would discover a new break–in weeks later.
Mrs Mosey said: “All we could do was board it up to make it stronger but it did not work.
“Kids kept breaking in and we had to screw on new boards to the windows. We must have been there at least 10 times.
“We reported it to the police but you can’t patrol it every day.
“All they could do was to let the owner know. I feel really sorry for him. There was always a repair done.”
Ashley Medicks and wife Jackie stay next door to Park house.
Mr Medicks said: “I phoned 999 when I saw smoke coming from the front of the building. The fire was probably set in the rooms at the top because it spread down from there.
“The house was always a major worry. We have been keeping a lookout on behalf of the owner.
“On several occasions groups of kids have been inside, especially during summer holidays when they wandered down from town. It was just like an adventure playground for them.”
Detective Constable Garry Mitchell said: “The property has been unoccupied for some time now. Early enquiries indicate that this fire is suspicious and is being treated as such.
“We want to hear about anyone who may have been seen entering or leaving the grounds of the house. Callers can contact us on the 101 number and should quote the reference 1499 of 2/10.”
A fire service spokesperson said: “Operations control immediately mobilised four fire engines and an aerial appliance and crews extinguished the flames.
“Two fire engines re-attended on Wednesday as firefighters worked to make the area safe and extinguish any remaining hotspots. There are no casualties.”
Mr Johnston, the house owner, was unavailable for comment.
Flames Firefighters at the scene of the blaze at Park House in Kirkcudbright
Alarm raised Neighbours Henry Mosey and Ashley Medicks called 999
Roof up in flames Firefighters tackling Tuesday’s blaze at Park House in Kirkcudbright