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Fire at football ground and band hall treated as suspicious

The blaze ripped through Newtown Park, the home of Bo'ness United, on Tuesday.

Bo'ness: Police are investigating.
Bo'ness: Police are investigating. Lip Mearns

A fire which ripped through a football ground and a band hall was deliberate, police have said.

The blaze happened at Newtown Park, the home of Bo'ness United, on Tuesday.

The flames later spread to the Blydon Hall, which houses the Kinneil Band, destroying the building as well as the group's instruments and trophies.

Police have now launched an investigation into the deliberate fire, which started after rolls of astroturf were set alight.

Football club bosses spoke of their shock at the fire, saying the damage, in particular to the hall, will cost tens of thousands of pounds.

Club secretary Chris Veitch said: "The park is fine. The fire started at the gates.

"It was astroturf which was an inch thick and somehow it was set alight.

"The band hall has been completely destroyed. The group have lost their instruments, uniforms and trophies.

"The materials for the astroturf have been affected and were set alight

"There was damage to the floodlight and that's covered by the insurers.

"It's very minimal damage to the football club. There is smoke damage to the wall and the changing rooms are unaffected.

"I was across the road visiting my grandfather and I just ran across when I saw the flames.

"I was concerned about the band hall and the houses next door.

"The band hall is completely down to the ground.

"There was nothing we could do. All you could do is watch. The fire has caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage."

Inspector Frank Travers added: "As part of this inquiry we'd urge local residents and other members of the public who were in the area on Tuesday afternoon, and witnessed anything suspicious, to contact police immediately. This includes motorists who believe they may have any relevant dash-cam footage.

"I am aware there has been speculation that two individuals have been named as being responsible. I can confirm these persons have been eliminated from our inquiries.

"The assistance of the public is vital in bringing offenders to justice, if you do believe you have information relating to this fire please get in touch with us."

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101.

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