These are the shocking images which show the scale of a blaze at an Aberdeen business – leaving a £40,000 trail of destruction.
Firebugs struck at Aberdeen Heating on Newton Terrace, torching vehicles in the yard outside.
Emergency services had been called to the firm in the Bucksburn area where the seven vehicles were alight.
The blaze is being treated as suspicious, however, no one was injured in the incident which broke out at 1.15am yesterday.
Six commercial vehicles and a car were set on fire, and owner of the business Sandra Galloway told how it could have been worse – as some of the vans had gas canisters inside.
Four vehicles owned by the company were damaged – and it is thought the damage is worth around £25,000. Of the remaining vehicles, one belonged to an employee and the others to residents.
Meanwhile, neighbours told of their shock at seeing explosions as the fire took hold.
Mrs Galloway, who owns the business with her husband Andrew, said: “It was a bit of a shock to wake up to. We’re just lucky it didn’t spread to the building, it could have been really dangerous for the people round about.”
She added that they have been targeted in the past, saying: “We’ve had vans broken into and smashed.
“It’s been little things. All the vehicles will be write-offs.
“They don’t all belong to us.”
Sandra, who stays in Balmedie, said that she had woken up around 4am unable to sleep, and found out about the fire on social media before the police were able to make contact with her.
She said: “I just got such a shock. We reckon our vehicles are about £25,000 worth of damage, and the others are between £5,000 and £10,000.
“It’s not great, but we’ll be open as usual.
“A couple of them were ones we used on an ad-hoc basis, there was only one van that was crucial.
“It’s just going to be business as usual. If anyone has any information they should get in touch with police.
“It could have been a lot worse, some of the other vans had gas canisters in the back.
“Thankfully they managed to get it under control quickly, as there’s quite a few homes around there.
“Hopefully someone saw something, as there’s probably not a lot of forensics due to the fire.”
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “We used one jet, two hosereel jets, small tools and two breathing apparatus. The stop message came in at 2.07am.”
Two appliances with nine firefighters were sent to the scene from North Anderson Drive.
One of the neighbours, who asked not to be named, called the fire brigade.
He said: “The first I knew of it was the car alarms going off. There were three vans on fire initially and it looked like it spread to the others.
“It took hold really quickly – about five or 10 minutes. We saw some huge explosions while we were standing at the window. It was pretty scary at the time.”
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A second neighbour, whose house overlooks the area, said: “There were all sorts of explosions going on because of the van batteries and things like that. It was horrific while it was going on. It was really scary, especially looking directly on to it.”
A man, who asked not to be named, said that a broken street light in the area meant that people walking about in the yard couldn’t be seen.
He added: “The street light over the entrance to the yard has been out for the last three weeks. My son has reported it but nothing has been done.
“You can’t see anyone walking about in the yard if the light is off.
“Me and my wife were watching a film and she heard our son’s dog barking upstairs. She didn’t think any more about it until she heard a thump outside. She looked out and saw the fire in the yard.
“It was a big shock and it was quite frightening. The fire brigade were here and dealt with it really quickly.”
A joint investigation between police and the fire service is under way.
Detective Sergeant Martyn Thomson said: “We are treating this fire as wilful and inquiries are ongoing.
“I would ask that anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has any information in relation to it contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident number 0404 of 10/03/2019.
“Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”