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Fire starters blasted by police and victim

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THOSE responsible for starting a string of fires in the Dumfries area have been slammed by police and one of the victims.

The latest blaze was reported at the rear of a property in Wilson Place, Heathhall on Monday afternoon. Police believe the culprits gained access via Catherinefield Road, Dumfries. It was the most recent in a series of deliberate fires started in Sanquhar, Kelloholm and the Lincluden, Troqueer and Heathhall areas of Dumfries during lockdown, with a significant amount of damage caused to people’s property.

Daniel Wright’s garden was targeted at the weekend. He said: said: “Looking out your window at 1 am to see part of your garden up in flames is a really frightening thing.

“Gone are some of my most hard earned possessions all as a result of a heartless fire raising attack that endangered my family’s and neighbours’ lives.

“Seriously, during a global crisis we currently face ourselves with, have people not got anything else to do than put peoples lives and safety at risk unnecessarily?

“I’m just glad to say that we are all safe yet extremely shaken and seriously hope that whoever is responsible for this senseless attack gets the punishment they deserve.”

Meanwhile, police officers say it has been ‘sheer luck’ nobody has been hurt as a result. Area commander Stephen Stiff said: “At a time when communities are looking out for each other; when many are worried about their jobs and livelihoods, and whilst emergency services are working hard to keep people safe; it is extremely disappointing to see that a small minority of mindless people think it is appropriate to deliberately set fires which damage property, endanger lives and cause stress and anxiety to the owners of damaged property.

“I would appeal to everyone to remain vigilant and contact the police immediately if they see anyone acting suspiciously in or around cycle paths, public footpaths or around people’s gardens regardless of the time of day or night.”

He also called on parents to be aware of what their children are doing when they are allowed out. AC Stiff added: “Police have already caught and reported two youths for fire-raising locally but sadly the problem persists and it is clear that others are getting their kicks out of wilfully damaging innocent people’s property through fire-raising. Police patrols have been increased in many of the affected areas but we need the public’s help to identify and catch those responsible before someone gets seriously hurt.”

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