Arson attack at Alston Garage in Lanark

THE threat of demolition still hangs over a former garage on the approaches to Lanark town centre following an arson attack which gutted it in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Police are still looking for witnesses who saw anything suspicious around 4.30am on April 9 in or near the former Alston’s Garage site on Ladyacre Road.

The fire service quickly doused the flames after establishing that the old petrol tanks still underneath what was the garage forecourt were empty of both fuel and fumes.

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Temporarily moving residents and workers at nearby businesses away from the area is still being considered should a decision be taken to fully demolish the now totally burned-out building; its roof is understood to be largely made of asbestos and careful, full dousing of the material before demolition would have to be carried out to prevent potentially dangerous dust blowing into adjoining properties and the nearby Braidfute Retail Park.

The decision whether or not to pull the structure down would ultimately lie with South Lanarkshire Council’s building control department but a spokeswoman for it told the Gazette : “We have asked the owners to make safe the damaged structure. However, that does not necessarily mean demolition at this point in time and we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Inspector Scott Jones of Lanark police said that the blaze on Tuesday “had not been as serious as first thought”.

Find out more about the Alston Garage blaze in this week’s Gazette – and look out for a further update in next week’s paper.

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