Man killed and woman injured in ‘targeted’ fire attacks

Police believe four incidents in Greenock area in a week may be linked.

Man killed and woman injured in ‘targeted’ fire attacks Police Scotland

Police believe a spate of fire attacks – in which a man was killed and a woman seriously injured – may be linked.

There were four targeted incidents in the Greenock area within less than a week from September 14 to 19.

In the first, a 46-year-old man died in a fire in the town’s Union Street, around 10.35pm on Monday, September 14.

On Wednesday, a 40-year-old woman was seriously injured in a fire at a property in Wellington Street. It is believed to have been started by an accelerant thrown through a window at around 11.05pm.

Her nine-year-old daughter was also in the property at the time but was not injured.

Enquiries found a small white vehicle was seen driving off at speed after the attack, in the direction of the junction of Wellington Street and Duncan Street.

A short time later, around 11.10pm, a white Suzuki Splash with registration number GK14 FZE, was seen driving into Skye Street.

Three men got out of this car and ran down Skye Street and into Rankine Street. They are all described as being in their late teens and of skinny build.

The driver was wearing a black scarf covering the lower part of his face and a black zipped hooded top. The two passengers were both wearing something over their heads and each wore grey zipped hooded tops, with the hoods up.

On Thursday, around 2.20am, the same Suzuki was reported on fire on Skye Street, having been reported stolen from Denholm Terrace in the early hours of Wednesday.

Finally, on Saturday, September 19, there was a fire on Cumberland Road, believed to have been started by an accelerant thrown at a window of a property.

The window was not broken but garden furniture caught fire, although it was extinguished quickly. The occupants of the property, a 45-year-old woman and three members of the family, including her six-year-old daughter, were not injured.

Detective superintendent Gerry McBride said: “I would like to start by saying how sickened we are by all of these incidents, whether linked or not, these have been unprovoked, targeted attacks which have resulted in both serious injury and death.

“A couple of these attacks have also taken place while children have been present and it has been sheer luck that the number of people injured has not been any higher.

“We want to make it absolutely clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated in our community and officers will do everything they can to find those responsible.

“It is also important to reassure the wider community that although enquiries are still ongoing, we do not believe there is any risk to the wider public.

“There will be an increased police presence in the area whilst investigations are ongoing. Specialist units have been deployed to both carry out enquiries, and to tackle this problem and prevent any further instances occurring.”

If you have any information that can help police contact them on 101.

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