FIRESTARTER suspects believed to have torched a block of flats in Port Glasgow have been caught on camera.

Two youths clad in dark clothing were filmed sprinting away from a close at Clune Park minutes before multiple fire crews arrived to put out the 'well developed' blaze.

A total of five fire appliances were sent to attend the emergency incident, reports our sister title The Greenock Telegraph. 

Glasgow Times:

Both suspects — captured by a resident's security lens — are today the focus of a criminal investigation.

The Greenock Telegraph received several segments of footage showing suspicious activity and vandalism in the hours leading up to the deliberate blaze on June 16.

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

In one clip, shot at 4.36pm, six youths and a teenage girl are seen loitering near where the fire was later set.

One boy is heard to state, 'That's a camera', before picking up a discarded deckchair and hurling it at the lens in a failed attempt to destroy it, while another throws a stone at a ground floor flat.

Earlier, at 3.04pm, three youths are seen to enter the common close where the courtyard-facing camera is located, and four minutes later a resident is heard to say: "The police will be here in five minutes."

Two uniformed officers are filmed arriving at 5.21pm.

The youths suspected of starting the fire are seen running away from a neighbouring close to the left of the camera at 9.19pm, and a further piece of footage shows fire appliances at the scene at 9.44pm.

Glasgow Times:

A Scottish Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson said: "Operations control mobilised five fire appliances to Clune Park estate, where firefighters were met by a well-developed fire.

"Crews extinguished the fire and made the area safe before leaving.

"There were no casualties."

Just a week after this blaze a derelict flat at Clune Park's Wallace Street was engulfed in flames as a result of a further deliberate fireraising.

Residents who still live on the eyesore estate fear that someone will get seriously hurt if the dangerous behaviour doesn't stop.

Ann Cameron, 57, who lives on Robert Street, said: "There were three fires in different flats in Wallace Street.

"Firefighters were there a couple of hours before in Caledonia Street — it happens all the time.

"The council needs to get this place knocked down."

Ann added: "It will be a firefighter who gets hurt next, all it would take is a ceiling to fall on top of them."

Inverclyde Council unveiled a multi-million pound plan more than a decade ago to demolish Clune Park and regenerate the area.

But the local authority has been embroiled in a series of disputes with landlords and has lost a succession of legal battles over how it has gone about trying to acquire the entire estate.

Council leader Stephen McCabe recently warned that the saga could last a further five years.

Area fire chief David McCarrey has hit out at the number of deliberate fires being started by youths in Inverclyde — branding it 'unacceptable'.

Official figures show that nearly 300 blazes were set across the district and Renfrewshire last summer.

Mr McCarrey said: "While I'm keen not to stigmatise our young people, we can't escape the fact that the statistical data and evidence points to periods of time when schools are on holiday."

Commenting on the June 16 incident, Sergeant Jason Logsdon of Inverclyde police said: "Police in Inverclyde are investigating a report of a wilful fire to a property on Clune Park street in Port Glasgow.

"Police are following a positive line of enquiry to identify the culprits.

"If anyone has any information regarding this incident please contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting KC02020622 or [anonymously] via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."