Police hunt arsonist in Dumfriesshire

Officers suspect one person could be behind five grass fires in the space of three days.

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Full report: Police hunt for arsonist

Homes had to be evacuated and three teams of firefighters were callled to battle a blaze that appears to be the latest in a series of grass fires deliberately set alight in Dumfries and Galloway.

Some of the residents who were led from their homes were in their seventies, as large flames came within just a few feet of properties.

Police say the fire near Sanquhar is one of eight suspicious grass fires in the past six days.

Matthew Taylor has this report:

'Fire came within feet of garden' says Kelloholm resident

The fire came within feet of the garden Credit: Meg Alison

Ten homes had to be evacuated in Kelloholm, in Dumfries and Galloway, after a grass fire came within a few feet of residents' gardens.

Many of those evacuated were people over the age of 70.

One resident described it as "an inferno" and said "it was a very frightening experience".

The burnt out grass near Kelloholm Credit: ITV News Border

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New fire, hunt continues

Police in the Sanquhar area are stepping up their hunt for a suspected arsonist after a sixth grass fire in the space of four days.

The latest was in Queen's Road, Sanquhar on Saturday 30th March. None have yet caused serious damage but officers still suspect that it is the same person setting them.

A Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue spokesman said:

“The fires were all put out by the firefighters using beaters and hoses. The causes of the fires have been put down as suspected to be deliberate by an unknown person or persons.”

– Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue spokesman

Police appeal for witnesses

A Dumfries and Galloway Police spokesman said:

“The causes of the fires are being investigated. We are anxious for anyone with information to come forward so that whoever is responsible can be apprehended.”

– Dumfries and Galloway Police spokesman

Sanquhar fires were deliberately set

Firefighters from Sanquhar in Upper Nithsdale have been called out to the fires around the town.

They have managed to put them all out without serious damage but suspect it is the same person starting all of them.

Three fires were set off in and around Sanquhar within the space of four hours on Wednesday and then a fourth was discovered alongside the A76 Dumfries - Kilmarnock Road at Guildhall Bridge, Kirkconnel.

The latest was on Friday night at Mary’s Street at Sanquhar where firefighters managed to put out the flames using beaters.A Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue spokesman said:

“The fires were all put out by the firefighters using beaters and hoses.“The causes of the fires have been put down as suspected to be deliberate by an unknown person or persons.”

– Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue spokesman

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