A community has been left in shock after a deliberate fire destroyed a former North-east hospital.
The hunt was continuing today for the culprits behind the incident at the derelict Glen O’Dee Hospital site in Banchory.
Glen O'Dee – Scene of Major BlazePermission from the fire chief to film at the site of the 'wilful' fire that has destroyed the Glen O'Dee Hospital #GlenODee #STV #stvnews #fire #AberdeenshirePress HD for best qualityFeel free to share.©RedKiteMediaScotlandinfo@redkitemediascotland.com
Posted by Andy Kay on Friday, 14 October 2016
Officers from Police Scotland were appealing for witnesses following the blaze at the category A-listed building on Thursday night, which is being treated as wilful fireraising.
Community leaders on Royal Deeside spoke of their sadness that the historic building had been all but destroyed.
Karen Clark, councillor for the Banchory area, said: “It was such a special place for so many people in the Banchory community. The hospital had such a rich history so for it to be burned down is such a shame.
“It was an architectural gem and it is so sad and shocking about the fire.”
Alexander Burnett, MSP for Aberdeenshire West, said: “These were clearly very difficult conditions for the fire crews, who have worked very hard to bring this blaze under control overnight.
“The most important thing is that it did not spread to nearby hospital buildings and that all the patients and staff were kept safe.”
A total of 62 firefighters from across the North-east were sent to the scene at around 11.30pm on Thursday.
A total of 10 appliances from Aberdeen Central, Altens, North Anderson Drive, Turriff, Buckie, Inverurie, Kintore, Aboyne, Banchory and Stonehaven were sent to the blaze.
Station manager Stuart Cruickshank, who was involved in the operation, said: “This was a serious fire which caused extensive damage to the property.
“Deliberate fires pose a significant risk to the public, buildings, the environment and the emergency services who attend. They also direct valuable fire and rescue service resources away from more serious incidents, where lives may be at risk.”
Detective Sergeant George Nixon from Police Scotland said: “While the value of the damage has not yet been established this was a significant fire which has caused extensive destruction to a listed building. We are treating the fire as wilful and would appeal to anyone who saw anything unusual or suspicious in the area or has any information to contact police on 101 as soon as possible.
“This type of behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated. It goes without saying there is a significant risk of harm with such irresponsible behaviour.”