Concerns over rise in number of deliberate fires in Levenmouth

Denbeath Miners Welfare Club was gutted by a fire last year.
Denbeath Miners Welfare Club was gutted by a fire last year.

Concerns have been expressed about the rising number of deliberate fires being set in Levenmouth, following a fire at a former club and bar last week.

Police are investigating a fire at the former Brannigans site, and are treating it as deliberate fire raising.

The fire follows two other fires at well-known Levenmouth sites in the last year.

Two boys were arrested following a fire, which gutted the historic Denbeath Miners’ Welfare Club last August.

And earlier this year, a fire ripped through Silverburn House, causing the roof to collapse.

The fire at Brannigans follows a report, delivered by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to local councillors last month, which stated that there had been a significant increase in deliberate fire setting.

The number of incidents of deliberate fire setting in the Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages ward for 2017/18 was 124, up from 83 in 16/17.

The number of incidents of deliberate fire setting in the Leven, Kennoway and Largo ard for 2017/18 was 83, up from 60 the year before.

The report stated that these figures were the “highest on record and the highest for the seven area committees”, and that the two wards would rank the highest and second highest of all Fife wards for this activity.

Councillor Colin Davidson said he has met with police about the rising number of deliberate fires and has asked for details on the amount of time spent on detections and how many people have been arrested in the last year.

“Something needs to be done,” he told the Mail. “We need to detect and report these people to the appropriate authorities.

“I want to see people arrested before someone is killed.

“The fire service and police are doing an excellent job in schools, but we need arrests.”

Cllr Ryan Smart added: “It’s tragic that this has happened again. We need to be doing something to get people investing in this area and get the buildings used.

“There are many derelict buildings in this area which could be next.”

Roddie Keith,SFRS’s Local Senior Officer for Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Fife, said: “Deliberate fires put unnecessary pressure on firefighters when genuine emergencies arose and could have placed lives at risk.

“These incidents are completely unacceptable. Every deliberate fire has victims, costs – and consequences.

“We take a zero tolerance approach to these incidents and work closely with our partners including Police Scotland and Fife Council in an effort to trace anyone involved in this unacceptable behaviour. Our firefighters work hard every day to engage with the public and promote safety messages in order to keep our communities as safe as possible.”