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Fire destroys house in Annan

Credit: Dumfries Galloway Police Division

A fire has destroyed a house in Annan during the early hours of this morning.

Police officers are working with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to find the cause of the incident at the house in Northfield Park.

A vehicle parked in front of the house was found alight at around 12.15am and the fire quickly spread to the property.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Credit: ITV Border
Credit: ITV Border


New police commander for Dumfries & Galloway

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie (left) and Chief Superintendent Mike Leslie Credit: Police Scotland

Police Scotland has appointed a new commander for Dumfries and Galloway.

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie replaces Chief Superintendent Mike Leslie who has retired after 30 years of police service.

Mr Ritchie has been a police officer for 23 years and previously worked in operational roles in North Ayrshire, Paisley and Glasgow.

“I am delighted to be taking charge here in Dumfries and Galloway in what has consistently been one of the best performing divisions in Scotland and I’m looking forward to the challenge of maintaining this high standard.

"I have already been around some of the region visiting officers and staff and they are clearly committed to delivering the best service possible to the community. I hope to build on what is an excellent community policing model."

– Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie

Police name man found dead in River Kent

The car was found the following day. Credit: ITV Border

Police have identified the body that was found in the River Kent yesterday as Charles Maurice Mercer, aged 86, of Cartmel, Grange Over Sands.

At approximately 3.45pm on Monday 9th November, on Aynam Road in Kendal, his green Suzuki Jimny left the road, mounted the kerb and collided through barriers into the River Kent.

The river was swollen and fast flowing following heavy rainfall and his vehicle was swept downstream.

The vehicle was submerged and despite an extensive multi-agency search, Mr Mercer and his vehicle could not be located that night.

His vehicle was sighted downstream in the river the next morning, off Natland Road, and the body of Mr Mercer was discovered a short time later a further distance downstream, near Scrogg’s Wood.


Body of local man in his 80s found in River Kent

The roof of a car submerged in the River Kent Credit: ITV Border

A body has been found by police and fire and rescue crews searching for a man believed to have crashed into the river Kent in Kendal.

Cumbria police was called to Aynam Road just before 4pm yesterday after reports an elderly gentleman had been seen trying to get out of his car as it floated down the river.

A runner described seeing a "well dressed elderly man" trying to get out of his car as it was swept downstream. It is believed he managed to get out of the car but told witnesses he couldn't hang on any longer.

The man's car was found as the river level dropped this morning and then a member of the public reported seeing a body entangled in tree branches near Scroggs Wood in Helsington, around a mile further south.

He has been identified as a local man in his 80s. Next of kin have been informed but his identity has not been released. He is not from Kendal.

Police divers are now working to recover the vehicle and investigate how the car left the road.

Search for driver continues along Kent river

The top of the car was visible in the River Kent yesterday Credit: ITV Border

Police are continuing to make enquiries to locate and identify the driver of the vehicle that entered the River Kent yesterday afternoon.

Officers are searching the river this morning and are being supported by the Coastguard, Fire Service, and the North West Underwater Search team.

A vehicle has been sighted in the river this morning but the river levels are still high. Police are urging members of the public not to go to the scene and not to take part in any search of the river bank due to the extreme dangers.

The incident has also led to some traffic disruption in the area and in the town centre.

Emergency services search River Kent for missing man

Credit: ITV Border

Emergency services have launched a major search operation on Kendal's River Kent after a man and his car were reported to be in the water.

Police, firefighters, ambulance crew and mountain rescue team members are currently scouring the river bank for the man who remains unaccounted for.

Police were alerted to the incident and called to Aynam Road in Kendal shortly before 4pm.

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