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Calls for CCTV to be installed at Aberdeen high-rise badly damaged in deliberate fire

Councillor Jennifer Stewart said she was "shocked" by the damage caused by the fire at Bruce House over the weekend.
Councillor Jennifer Stewart said she was "shocked" by the damage caused by the fire at Bruce House over the weekend.

Calls have been made to install CCTV in a set of high rises in Aberdeen after a deliberate fire.

Police and fire investigators have confirmed they are treating a blaze at Bruce House, in Hazlehead Gardens, at the weekend as suspicious.

Four fire crews and a height appliance were called out at about 3pm on Sunday, but the blaze caused “significant” damage to the fourth floor.

Residents of the block were alerted by a silent alarm, and nobody was injured.

Now local councillor Jennifer Stewart has called for CCTV cameras to be installed to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Residents keen to see CCTV installed

She believes it would deter future firestarters, or help the authorities catch the culprits.

Mrs Stewart, who is also depute provost, said her key concern was protecting residents and improving their security.

She said: “I have spoken to a number of residents who would like to see CCTV installed in the building.

“I would like to see it not just in Bruce House, but also Davidson House, Wallace House and Rose House – each of which is just a stone’s throw away from each other.”

The fourth floor of Bruce House was badly damaged. Jennifer Stewart believes CCTV should be installed to deter further incidents of wilful fireraising in the area. Picture by Paul Glendell/DCT Media

“I want to be able to reassure residents because they are mindful of what happened in London, albeit now five years ago. A fire is a fire. I want to create a level of reassurance for people, to find out who is going into these buildings.”

It is not the first time that there has been a fire in Bruce House, with Mrs Stewart suggesting that problems with the building’s internal bin chute getting stuck has also caused some.

She added: “I’m just concerned; I want there to be CCTV within the building, at least at the front entrance.

“The smoke from the fire has permeated the entire building – as soon as I entered, I could feel it in my chest. I was quite shocked at what I saw.

“There have been issues with pupils of the local school making their way into the building on their lunch break to take shelter from the elements – it needs to be a case that the people who are meant to have access to the building do.”

Four fire crews attended the fire at Bruce House in Hazlehead on Sunday. Picture: Kenny Elrick/DCT Media

Fire ‘wilfully’ set

If CCTV cameras are installed, a consultation with residents would need to be carried out first.

Aberdeen City Council declined to comment on the calls given it is an “ongoing police incident”.

Police have confirmed they are treating the fire as suspicious, and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

A spokeswoman said: “We were called around 3.40pm on Sunday, 16 January, to a report of a fire in Hazlehead Gardens, Aberdeen.

“The fire was put out by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and no one was injured. The incident is being treated as wilful and inquires are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.”

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