An Aberdeen school has been devastated by flames, for the second time in just three years.
Cordyce School, just off Riverside Drive in Dyce, had previously been severely damaged following a vandal attack in 2017.
The school has been in a derelict state since then, but locals had hoped that a community development could be created at the site.
Those hopes however, have been dashed.
Emergency services were called to the school around 9.30pm on Friday night, after receiving reports of a fire in the area.
The scale of the flames soon became evident – and by midnight a total of nine appliances, as well as a height vehicle, were on the scene at Cordyce School.
Locals gathered to watch as orange flames spread across the night sky and billows of smoke blew into the air.
Cordyce School, for the second time in three years, goes up in flames.
Nine fire engines on the scene here in Dyce pic.twitter.com/KtSaKVG1zT
— Kirsten Robertson (@kirs10robertson) July 31, 2020
Residents spoke of their “sadness” at what is thought to be yet another incident of wilful fireraising.
Another Dyce local, who did not wish to be named, added: “The fire has been going strong for hours now.
“It’s devastation. I’d heard there were plans to do something with what was there, but they’re back to square one. Horrible whoever did this.”
A fire engine on Balloch Way had fed a hose through Riverside Drive and down to the school.
On the scene, a firefighter explained that makeshift ramps had had to be erected to stop cars driving over, and potentially bursting, the flames.
Further emergency services vehicles, including an ambulance, lined the path down to the fire – where more firefighters were in place.
Around 2am, Riverview Drive was closed between Balloch Way and Todlaw Walk with the public asked to avoid the area.
Fire units remained overnight at the scene and throughout Saturday and left the scene on Sunday.
Despite its derelict condition, Dyce residents had still hoped that Cordyce School could be put to good use.
The secondary school had been left without any pupils after young people with mental, emotional and social support needs were incorporated into mainstream schools.
It had been subject of debate after Aberdeen City Council sought bids for the land to give the space a new lease of life.
Previously, Boxer Lee McAllister had put forward a £10million fitness complex vision and gone head-to-head against the Parkhill Garden Centre, who had also eyed up the site for a replacement centre.
However, both plans were refused.
Aberdeen City Council submitted plans to demolish the former school in June.
Police are investigating the cause of the fire.
Anyone who has information is to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 4348 of July 31, or anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.