Youths sus­pected of start­ing fire

The Galloway News - - FRONT PAGE - Stephen Nor­ris

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.

Pic­ture cour­tesy of H Mosey

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

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