Blaze probe

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A House fire in Bo’ness may have been started deliberately said Central Scotland Police this week.

The two-storey terraced home at 58 Drumpark Avenue erupted into flames around 8pm on Thursday, May 12, and, purely by coincidence, firefighters from Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service were on site within a minute of the alarm being raised.

They had been in a neighbouring street on fire prevention work.

Three appliances in total attended the scene with the last leaving shortly before midnight.

An eye witness told the Journal: ‘‘It started with lots of black smoke belching out of the house and it appeared that the firefighters had extinguished the blaze but suddenly the upstairs windows blew out and there were huge flames coming out.

‘‘You could feel the heat on the other side of the street.’’

Firefighter Gregor Dobbie, incident commander, said: ‘‘This was a very severe and intense fire in a two-storey domestic property. We worked hard to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring properties.’’

Initially it was feared three people may have been inside the burning building but that proved a false alarm as they were quickly traced safe and well.

The fire and rescue service called in specially trained dogs to assist with their investigation.

It is understood the dogs, unique in Scotland to the local force, are trained to sniff out fire accelerants.

Detective Inspector Hugh Louden of Central Scotland Police said: “A man was seen in the area prior to the fire and he may have arrived there by vehicle.

‘‘We are keen to hear from any body who may have seen any suspicious vehicles or activity in the area around this time.

“We are treating this fire as suspicious and keen to hear from anybody who may have any information.”

Falkirk Council confirmed the occupants of the four apartment terraced house were council tenants. A council spokesman said he was unable to comment on their where-abouts following the devastating blaze which destroyed their home.

Anyone with information can contact Central Scotland Police on 01786 456000 or information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.