FLAMES ripped through the home of Dysart Sailing Club in the early hours of Saturday morning, in a blaze police are treating as ‘suspicious’.
The alarm was raised to the fire at the village harbour at around 3.20 a.m. with fire crews discovering the building well alight on their arrival.
Three appliances from Kirkcaldy were in attendance with a further two from Methil and one from Glenrothes on standby.
The blaze, which took two hours for firefighters to bring under control, has gutted the building, leaving the premises used by the local sailing club without a roof and it is not yet known whether the structure can be saved.
Fife Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.
Detective Sergeant Colin Robson said: “The circumstances of this fire are suspicious and I am appealing to anyone who may have been in the Dysart area at this time or who may have any information regarding this incident to contact the police.”
Jim Swan, secretary of the sailing club, told the Press: “It’s devastating, it’s been a real blow for all the members who have lost possessions in the clubhouse.
“A lot of them will not be able to replace what they have lost as they are pensioners and cannot afford it.
“It’s 45 years we’ve been going for and we have nothing now.
“We have no clubhouse, no facilities, nowhere for members to go, no power and no water supply.
“Everything we had has gone.
“A lot of the things which have been lost in the lounge are irreplaceable, like pieces of furniture commissioned in memory of members who have died, and plaques in memory of them - that really hurts.
“We are making arrangements to get a portable cabin down to the harbour as a temporary clubhouse, but we’re going through the planning processes which will take time.
“We need to set up a focus at the harbour again for our members.”
The sailing club, which currently has 128 members and a waiting list of another 20 names, was originally based in the Harbourmaster’s House from 1968.
Mr Swan added: “When the Harbourmaster’s House became unsafe we got moved over to the ‘oil shed’ as we called it in 1995.
“It’s a listed building which has been part of the harbour since 1835.
“We’re waiting for structural engineers to assess what’s left of the building.
“The nightmare scenario will be it’s found to be unsafe and will have to come down.
“We had done the refurbishment to the lounge and kitchen and put in the toilets and showers, but that’s all gone.
“We were getting to the stage where it was really comfortable, and we’d have visiting yachtsmen coming to the harbour coming in to get a shower and use the kitchen upstairs.
“It’s a huge loss to the club.”
Kay Carrington, councillor for Kirkcaldy East, said: “The people of Dysart are absolutely gutted.
“The building has been there for so long as part of Dysart’s history.
“After what we have done to try and encourage tourists to come to the area, it’s really disappointing someone would actually do this, causing so much damage, to such a busy, thriving harbour.
“It’s really hit Dysart people quite hard because of the effort they put in.
“All the work over many years to keep the harbour as an open, working harbour for locals, tourists and visitors.
“That someone could do this damage deliberately beggars belief.’’