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Concern after fires at derelict factory

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Concern after fires at derelict factory

ALARM has been raised over the threat of malicious fire-setting in a derelict Dumfries factory — after two blazes in the space of just three days.

On Sunday evening and again on Tuesday, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service raced to tackle fires at the derelict former Interfloor factory on Edinburgh Road in the town.
Addressing the prospect of malicious fire setting, Dumfries and Galloway area manager Hamish McGhie blasted any such action and said: “Such activity is not only reckless and dangerous but can divert SFRS resources away from genuine emergencies.
“However, through robust and flexible strategic planning, our crews are always ready to respond to any incident to keep our communities safe.”
The fire service say that at about 6.25 pm on Sunday there were reports of a small fire at a derelict building on Edinburgh Road.
Two appliances attended and crews extinguished the fire using a high-power hose.
But again at 7.42 pm on Tuesday, the service was alerted to reports of another small fire at the same location — resulting in the same response.
On both occasions there were no casualties and firefighters ensured the area was made safe before leaving the scene.
Speaking afterwards, Mr McGhie said: “We are always concerned about the possibility of anyone accessing any empty premises.
“We have found from experience that unoccupied buildings can be targeted by malicious fire-raising.
“In such cases, we will always take a preventative approach by working with the owners and other local partners to secure such sites and raise awareness of the risks.
“We also seek to educate young people about the dangers of setting fires, both for themselves and other members of the public.”
The Interfloor factory closed in March 23, resulting in the loss of 53 jobs
Originally an aircraft engineering site it became a car factory which now has a listed facade, but the building is in a poor state of repair.
Interfloor say the factory was sold after closure, and the company currently marketing the building has yet to comment on the blazes.

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