Warning to Fife youngsters about dangers of fire-raising

Debbie Kelly, community worker with Link Up the Gallatown and volunteer Charlie Brownlie with a local mum
Debbie Kelly, community worker with Link Up the Gallatown and volunteer Charlie Brownlie with a local mum

Youngsters in Kirkcaldy have to realise the serious dangers they could cause by setting fires.

That’s the message from a concerned community development worker and youth workers following a recent spate of minor fire-raising in the town.

Shuggy Hughes, community development worker in the Gallatown contacted the Press after two incidents in under a week when, he says, only the quick actions of locals helped prevent something more serious.

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In the first incident youngsters were spotted setting fire to green gym equipment in the town’s Gallatown Park. The rubber foam was set alight, causing minor damage.

“Luckily we were having a workshop in the back shed at the new community hub in the former bowling club and we saw what had happened and called out the fire brigade pretty quickly,” he said.

“Then less than a week later I got a phone call after getting back from a late meeting from someone saying that the bushes next to the bike sheds of the Gallatown Bike Hub were on fire.

“It seems that some youngsters had set fire to a can of deodorant which had then set fire to the bushes. It could have exploded and injured them, and again it was only someone raising the alarm which prevented this from spreading to the sheds.

“This seems to be a bit of a theme at the moment and there have also been a few fires on the Fife Coastal Path and in the Rabbit Braes area.

“They were just minor fires, but if they caught on to something nearby in the wind, it could cause much more damage.”

Mr Hughes, known as Shuggy, said he had held a meeting at the town’s YMCA in Kirkcaldy with local youth workers and members of the council’s community learning and development team who were planning to speak to members of youth clubs at Valley Gardens and in the Gallatown to warn youngsters of the potential dangers.

Nobody from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was available for comment.