A massive fire that engulfed a historic furniture store in central Dundee was started deliberately in a ‘reckless and dangerous’ act, police said.
The fire at Robertson’s abandoned building on Barrack Street on Saturday evening sent a column of smoke over the city on Saturday evening.
On Sunday, Police Scotland said they were investigating the blaze as an act of arson.
Nearby streets remained closed.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Martin said: ‘This was a reckless and dangerous act of burning, which caused significant damage and disruption to the area.
“We have spoken with a number of witnesses and are asking anyone with information about the incident to come forward and help our investigations.”
Scottish Fire and Rescue said six crews were dispatched to the scene after the fire broke out around 6pm.
The fire engulfed Robertson’s former Art Deco furniture store on Barrack Street, which remained vacant.
No casualties were reported.
Images and video footage shared by residents showed huge flames visible from Fife as they approach Dundee.
Fire in Dundee just behind the Overgate – just uploaded this video 😲 pic.twitter.com/EzdF7jlQIQ
— Codoni (@WCodona) November 12, 2022
Niall Campbell, who lives in Fife, said he saw the fire across the River Tay.
He said: “I’m across the Tay, so far away, but I can say comfortably: I haven’t seen a fire of this magnitude in all my time here.”
Firefighters worked “extremely hard” to tackle the large blaze, the fire department said.
Crews remained at the scene on Barrack Street on Sunday morning, where at the height of the incident nine fire engines were present.
Two stayed behind this morning.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘We were alerted at 5.57pm on Saturday November 12 by reports of a fire at a building on Barrack Street in Dundee.
“Operations control has mobilized nine aircraft and specialist resources to the scene and firefighters are working extremely hard to put out a fire in a large building.
“No casualties were reported and crews remain at the scene.”
A cordon has been put in place following the incident, with police redirecting traffic as nearby streets are closed.
Crowds were seen gathering in the street as the fire raged through Saturday evening.
The fire sent a large column of smoke over the town which could be seen from the opposite bank of the Tay.
Shona Robison, MSP for Dundee East and Social Justice Secretary, said: ‘It is such a shame to see the former Art Deco Robertson furniture store in Dundee destroyed. Thoughts are with the emergency services who are working hard to bring the fire under control. »
Major incident Dundee City Center . Derelict furniture store Robertsons Barrack Street Dundee . Clearly destroyed by fire. pic.twitter.com/DOnGuctUNv
— Rab F (@RabF66) November 12, 2022
North East MSP Maurice Golden said he hoped the fire was under control and “everyone is safe”.
According to Le Courier newspaper, the furniture store closed in 2011 and has been empty for 11 years.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “At approximately 6pm on Saturday, police were called to assist Scottish Fire and Rescue Services at the scene of a fire in Barrack Street.
“Emergency services remain on site and surrounding streets are currently closed.”