Fire completely destroys Bo’ness business

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A businesswoman was left devastated after a fire tore through her premises on Sunday morning.

Back to Basics, which replaced the old Woolworth’s store in South Street, has been completely gutted by the blaze.

Five fire appliances were sent to the scene after the alert was sounded by a call from a landline at 3.37am.

There were no injuries but local business was disrupted around the town centre site.

Elizabeth Stewart (42), who owns Back to Basics, said: “We have lost everything. It has put us out of business. All our stock is away. We had furniture, beds and household items and they are all gone. We have no insurance to cover the damage.

She added: “I would like to thank Mary Joyce from the Ivy Tea Room and Diana from the Vintage shop who helped us on Sunday, it just shows there are some people with kind hearts.”

Inez Johnstone (59), who owns the neighbouring salon 51 Degrees South Hair Design, said: “We found out about the fire at noon on Sunday from my business partner Gwen Bell’s niece who lives in Wales – she had seen pictures of it on Facebook.

“We have got soot absolutely everywhere. We haven’t had to close the shop but we have been cleaning all week and it’s still not cleaned yet. There is still a smell of smoke too.”

A man appeared in Falkirk Sheriff Court on Tuesday accused of deliberately starting the fire. Callum Scott (24) was charged with wilful fireraising and being in possession of a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

He made no plea and the case against him was continued for further examination. Scott was released on bail.