Police probing a huge blaze at a mansion in Aberdeen’s west end have charged three 13-year-old boys.
Scores of firefighters were called to derelict Kepplestone House in the city’s Viewfield Road as it was engulfed by flames.
They took several hours to bring the blaze under control.
Six fire engines, a water carrier and a height vehicle were all sent to the historic 19th century property.
Firefighters remained at the scene throughout the night.
No one was injured in the incident.
Yesterday, police said three schoolboys had been charged with wilful fireraising.
Inspector Ian McKinnon, from the west end community policing team, said: “I can confirm that three people have been charged with offences relating to the fire, but our inquiries are not yet complete.
“I would like to thank members of the public for their assistance, and if anyone else has information relating to it, please come forward.”
The mansion was once the home of Alexander MacDonald, one of Aberdeen’s greatest industrialists and benefactors.
It has been lying empty for some time.
Local councillor Martin Greig said the destruction of what was a slice of Aberdeen history was “disgraceful”.
He added: “The damage to the building is appalling and this criminal activity caused huge concern to the local community.
“The consequences could have been much worse, or even fatal.
“It is vital that the owners now make Kepplestone House as secure as possible in its damaged condition to prevent further misbehaviour.”
The property was due to be developed into residential homes by the Stewart Milne Group.
The company been liaising closely with police during the investigation.
A spokesman for the housebuilder said structural engineers had been appointed to investigate the mansion’s safety and to resecure the fencing surrounding the building.
Anyone who has information about the fire late on Friday night has been urged to contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.