Local Labour politicians have commented on the fire at St Benedict’s Convent on Maxwell Street, Dumfries, which started in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said: “It is devastating for people in Dumfries that this beautiful building and iconic local landmark has disappeared from our town’s skyline.

“My thoughts are with all the neighbours who I know will be angry and frustrated. Many will feel this was almost inevitable given the regular mindless acts of vandalism that have occurred at the convent in recent months.

“I want to thank our amazing emergency services who battled this terrible blaze for many hours but clearly the damage was already done by the time they were called out. It will be little conciliation for the awful loss of such an important part of our town’s rich history but it is important that everything possible is done to get to the bottom of what happened.”

Northwest Dumfries Councillor Paula Stevenson said: “It is hugely frustrating to have another fire in North West Dumfries and in particular one that has caused such truly appalling damage. This will have been a frightening time for residents as vandalism at the convent has been a real concern for some time. I will be keeping in contact with our emergency services who battled this fire and worked to keep people safe, as they now begin the task of investigating exactly what happened.”

North West Councillor Emma Jordan said: “I want to pay tribute to the members of our emergency services who worked tirelessly through the night. There will be a lot of speculation over what exactly caused this fire and it is important that anyone with information comes forward to the police so they can ascertain the cause and ultimately bring anyone involved to justice.”


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