A huge fire which gutted an historic furniture store in the centre of Dundee was started deliberately in a “reckless and dangerous” act, police have said.
The blaze at the derelict Robertson’s building on Barrack Street on Saturday night sent a column of smoke over the city on Saturday night.
On Sunday, Police Scotland said they are investigating the blaze as an act of wilful fire-raising.
Nearby streets remained closed off.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Martin said: “This was a reckless and dangerous act of fire-raising, which has caused significant damage and disruption to the area.
“We have spoken with a number of witnesses and would appeal for anyone with information on the incident to come forward and assist our inquiries.”
Scottish Fire and Rescue said six crews were sent to the scene after the blaze broke out around 6pm.
The fire engulfed the old Art Deco Robertson’s furniture store on Barrack Street, which has been lying vacant.
No casualties were reported.
Pictures and video footage shared by residents showed huge flames visible from Fife on the approach to Dundee.
Fire in Dundee just behind the Overgate – just got sent this video 😲 pic.twitter.com/EzdF7jlQIQ
— Codoni (@WCodona) November 12, 2022
Niall Campbell, who lives in Fife, said he saw the fire from across the River Tay.
He said: “I am on the other side of the Tay so quite far away, but can comfortably say: I have not seen a fire of its scale in all my time here.”
Firefighters worked “extremely hard” to tackle the large blaze, the fire service has said.
Crews remained at the scene on Barrack Street on Sunday morning, where, at the height of the incident, nine fire engines were in attendence.
Two remained on site this morning.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were alerted at 5.57pm on Saturday November 12 to reports of a building fire on Barrack Street in Dundee.
“Operations control mobilised nine appliances and specialist resources to the scene and firefighters are working extremely hard to extinguish a large building fire.
“No casualties have been reported and crews remain on the scene.”
A cordon has been put in place following the incident, with police redirecting traffic as neighbouring streets are closed.
Some crowds were seen gathering in the street as the fire raged on throughout Saturday evening.
The fire sent a large column of smoke over the city which could be seen from the opposite bank of the Tay.
Shona Robison, MSP for Dundee East and social justice secretary said: “Such a shame to see the destruction of the once lovely Art Deco Robertson furniture store building in Dundee. Thoughts are with the emergency services working hard to get the blaze under control.”
Major Incident Dundee City Centre . Derelict Robertsons Furniture Shop 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 that “everyone is safe”.
According to The Courier newspaper, the furniture shop closed in 2011 and has been empty for the last 11 years.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 6pm on Saturday police were called to assist Scottish Fire and Rescue Service at the scene of a fire on Barrack Street.
“Emergency services remain at the scene and the neighbouring streets are currently closed.”