Police are looking to speak to a group of teenage girls after a derelict building in Aberdeen was “deliberately set on fire”.
Fire crews spent more than three hours battling the blaze at a building on Old Stonehaven Road in Nigg.
The premises used to serve as a base for the Aberdeen Countryside Rangers Service who are charged with looking after Nigg Bay.
It has been out-of-use for more than five years and is owned by Aberdeen City Council.
Four appliances were called out to the incident at about 9.10pm after nearby neighbours reported seeing flames shooting out of the building.
An aerial vehicle and two main jets were used by the firefighters to extinguish the blaze, which enveloped the entire building.
Police are appealing for information after the building was “deliberately set on fire”.
Officers are particularly interested in speaking to a group of girls who were spotted in the area around the time of the blaze.
Sergeant Barry Wallace, of Nigg Community Policing Team, said: “I am appealing to anyone who may have been in the area at the time of this fire and seen anything suspicious to get in touch, including anyone who was driving and may have dash-cam footage that might help with our inquiries.
“In particular I am keen to find out more about a group of girls, described as being in their mid-teens, who were seen running off from Old Stonehaven Road in the direction of Wellington Terrace.
“They may have information that could help us.”
Appliances from North Anderson Drive, Altens and Central were sent to the scene.
A fire spokeswoman confirmed that they had attended the incident until 12.25am.
Kincorth, Nigg and Cove councillor Alex Nicoll described the blaze as “worrying” and urged any witnesses to come forward.
He said: “It’s very worrying and disappointing to see a building like that go up in flames.
“It’s been out of use for some years and sadly these types of places attract some inappropriate behaviour at times.
“The countryside rangers used it as an HQ many years ago but I think the council removed all the electrics and such a while ago.
“It’s in quite a remote part of the city as well so it is a disappointing thing to happen.”
A police car was seen outside the burnt-down building this morning.
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “The building is within the ownership of Aberdeen City Council however part of a larger landholding which is subject to a joint venture agreement with Hermiston Securities Ltd who are taking the lead in dealing with the fire.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact police on 101 or to remain anonymous, reports can be lodged through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.