Restaurant owner offers fireraisers a job
An Aberdeenshire businessman has offered an unusual reward after youths started a fire at his restaurant - they can have a job.
The blaze happened at Fennel Restaurant in Inverurie early on Sunday evening.
The emergency services were called and the fire - involving outdoor seating - was extinguished before serious further damage could be caused.
Owner William Bird said the youths involved could have kitchen porter jobs to teach them about responsibility.
He posted the offer on social media in a bid to get the message to the culprits.
It said: "I'm asking everyone who knows you, because you bragged, right? Because your classmates hung about, because you came home smelling of smoke and flammable material so someone knows. To let you know something. Something you need to know.
"I'm offering a reward. But that reward may not be what you think.
"To the two young lads who tried to set a fire at Fennel, I'm offering you a job.
"Come see inside, what we do, the real lives of the men and woman who work here, whose livelihoods depend on what we do, the innocent diners, locals you put at risk.
"I dare you, come work for me. It's not for the faint-hearted, takes something pretty special. Think you're up to it, gentlemen?"
'Make a difference'
Mr Bird - who believes the culprits were in a group of children who were aged about 13 or 14 - told the BBC Scotland news website: "Maybe these kids have not got anything better to do.
"There was not any major risk, although who knows what could have happened.
"I want to get them in for kitchen porter duties. People are all too quick to say 'hang 'em high' rather than make a difference and help. We can change their direction.
"They will get paid for an honest day of work.
"They have to realise their meals and clothes have to be paid for by someone working."
Police Scotland said: "A report was made in relation to a wilful fire-raising at Fennel Restaurant, Burn Lane, Inverurie, on Sunday.
"Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101."
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sent one unit to the scene.