Glasgow & West Scotland

Alexandria church damaged by 'suspicious' blaze

Police are treating a fire which extensively damaged a church in West Dunbartonshire as suspicious.

Emergency services were called to St Ronan's Parish Church in Bonhill, Alexandria, after residents noticed flames coming from the building at about 0130 BST.

Strathclyde Police said it appeared to be a deliberate act of fire-raising.

It is thought the blaze was started at a rear fire door, causing widespread damage to the flooring and roof area.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue brought the fire under control and no-one was injured in the incident.

'Inexcusable'

Det Con Martin Davies said: "The parish priest lives in the chapel house and although the fire didn't spread to this area, if it hadn't been spotted by neighbours it could well have.

"Thankfully the priest was not staying there last night. I must stress, however, that we have no information to suggest that the fire was anything more than an act of vandalism.

"To deliberately try and burn down a church is quite frankly inexcusable, and we are determined to trace the person responsible."

Police would like to talk to a man wearing a black hooded top who was spotted walking away from the area at about 0135 BST.

Det Con Davis added: "At this time, we simply don't know whether he is a suspect or indeed a significant witness. Therefore I would appeal to this man or anyone who saw a man in the area to come forward."

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