Village fireraising feared deliberate

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Auchmithie residents have reacted angrily to a second incident which has affected the beauty and heritage of the village.

Only last week the beach was filled with acrid smoke from the burning of rubber by someone who had come deliberately to the area to do so.

On Sunday, fire crews dealt with a blaze in a stone shed linked to the famous Arbroath smokies.

Local resident Mary-Ann Orr said: “This is an outrageous offence, one which has wiped out an icon of the cultural fishing legacy of not only Auchmithie but the whole area.

“Arbroath markets its smokies and they were first made on this little beach, in and around the hut.”

Arbroath station manager Fraser Scott said: “The message we want to put out is, it’s extremely dangerous to start fires. Not simply because of the danger it poses but it could potentially be taking appliances away from a more serious incident.

“The police and fire and rescue service will investigate any incident where they believe there has been any deliberate fire raising.”

Parts of the structure still remain and firefighters have since returned to ensure any burning embers are completely extinguished.

Police Scotland are treating the fire as suspicious and are continuing their enquiries after bystanders reported seeing a group of youths running from the scene shortly before the incident was reported.

“As a community we are devastated and simply don’t know where to turn,” said Mary-Anne.

The historical fishing village, upset by the disregard for the local environment, has issued a plea for support.

She added: “A group of campers arrived on the beach on Saturday.

“They left piles of human faeces on the beach and lots of rubbish. These are issues that are not being addressed and with only a small community forum we are asking for answers and for help.”

Villager Margaret Horn added: “It is difficult - suggestions have been to put a gate up to dissuade overnight camping but I wouldn’t like to think of the beach as a restricted area.

“However, the mess that is being left and damage being done is disgusting.

“I have written to the council previously about it. There is no longer a bin on the beach. It was removed as the road down was deemed too unsafe for the council lorry to go down.

“However, Scottish Water service the sewage tanks at the bottom of the cart road using a large tanker, on a regular basis.

“This could stop rubbish and human waste being strewn across the beach.”