Massive city centre furniture shop fire 'started deliberately'

Firefighters worked 'extremely hard' to tackle the blaze as it tore through the Robertson’s building in Dundee on Saturday.

A huge fire at an old furniture shop in Dundee city centre was started on purpose, police believe.

Firefighters worked “extremely hard” to tackle the blaze as it tore through the Robertson’s building on Saturday.

The Art Deco Willison House on Barrack St was built in 1930s to design of H Pierce Robbie and is on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland.

Crews remained at the scene on Sunday morning after the fire sent a large column of smoke over the city centre which could be seen from the opposite bank of the Tay.

Fire at former Roberston's furniture shop in DundeeSTV News

Several neighbouring streets are still closed and are expected to remain so for some time. Two fire engines were still at the scene on Sunday, with nine having attended to the incident on Saturday night.

The fire is being treated as wilful and Police Scotland said officers are following a number of lines of enquiry to identify those responsible.

Detective sergeant Stuart Martin, from Dundee CID, said: “This was a reckless and dangerous act of fireraising, 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 enquiries.”

dundee fireAshley Keith

Videos showed the fire engulfing the derelict building as dozens gathered in crowds to watch.

Shona Robison, the SNP MSP for Dundee East and social justice secretary, tweeted: “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.”

Conservative North East MSP Maurice Golden said he hoped “everyone is safe”.

No casualties have been reported, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed.

A spokesperson said: “Operations Control mobilised nine appliances and specialist resources to the scene where firefighters worked throughout the night to extinguish the fire.

“There were no reported casualties.

“Two appliances and specialist resources remain on the scene whilst crews work to make the area safe”.

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, quoting incident 2800 of November 12. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, if you wish to remain anonymous.