POLICE are investigating today after suspected fireraisers lit a fire which tore through a West Lothian scrap yard for the second time in three months.
Residents in Armadale were told to stay indoors and close their windows on Tuesday night as 50 firefighters battled the blaze at Campbell’s Auto Salvage.
It is believed that vandals set around 35 cars alight after smashing the windows of 100 vehicles at the yard.
The attack followed a similar incident in late January, when more than 150 scrapped cars and a fence were destroyed by fire, causing damage costing thousands of pounds.
Yesterday, staff were once again picking up the pieces after the blaze.
Employee William Jones said: “It does have an effect on business. If we don’t have spares, we can’t sell them.
“It is frustrating. It’s put everybody on a bit of a downer but we’ve got to get on with it. We think it was kids last night. They’ve broken windows and put a match to quite a few cars.”
At its height, seven fire engines and five support vehicles were at the scene of the fire, after the emergency services were alerted at around 7.55pm.
It led to a number of road closures as firefighters battled for around two hours to control the inferno.
All of the damaged vehicles were set to be scrapped.
Fire investigators were looking into the cause of the fire yesterday. Nobody was injured.
West Lothian councillor for the area, Isabel Hutton, was alerted to the incident when she saw worried residents discussing it on Facebook.
She said: “It’s tragic. They were really just starting to get their business put back together after the last fire.
“I’m upset for the family. They provide an excellent service and are very highly regarded in the community. It’s devastating to see this happen to them.
“There’s certain individuals that do acts of violence and vandalism, but youths should not all be tarred with the same brush.
“Rates of youth vandalism have been reducing in Armadale.
“My heart goes out to the family and I hope the police find the perpetrators that started this fire.”
A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “We are appealing to anyone who was in the area of Collinshiel Road in Armadale between 6pm and 7pm yesterday, who saw anything suspicious, to contact police.
“Similarly, anyone else who has any other information that can assist our inquiries should also get in touch.”
Anyone with any information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131-311 3131, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.