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16th Aug 2023

Yob tries to burn down soft play centre – accidentally sets himself on fire

Charlie Herbert

Yob tries to burn down soft play centre – but accidentally sets himself on fire

Police have appealed for information

CCTV footage has captured the moment a man tried to burn down a soft play centre but ended up setting himself on fire as well.

Emergency services were called to a blaze at the Saltire Soft Play and Soccer Centre in Dalkeith, Midlothian, at around 11.30pm on Saturday.

And when they looked back at the building’s CCTV to find out who the arsonist was, they saw that the yob managed to set himself alight in the process.

The centre shared the footage on their Facebook page, which shows the hooded thug putting something through the letterbox.

But as smoke begins to pour from the building, he gets caught in the flames and is seen waving his arms in panic.

The yob managed to set himself on fire after putting something through the centre’s door (Facebook/Saltire Soft Play and Soccer Centre)

He then runs away to escape a plume of fire that shoots out the door.

He then runs away as a plume of flames fires out the building (Facebook/Saltire Soft Play and Soccer Centre)

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews managed to extinguish the fire but not until significant damage had been done to the building’s entrance, forcing the centre to close for several days.

The soft play centre has appealed for any information that could identify the man.

The centre shared a picture of the aftermath (Facebook/Saltire Soft Play and Soccer Centre)

Owner Craig Meikle said: “This has obviously been devastating for my family, our staff and customers and has left us unable to open for business. 

“Our thanks go out to all our well-wishers and the emergency services, whose prompt response has meant, hopefully, our closure will only be for a short time.”

Detective Constable Russell Taylor said: “We are keen to trace a man dressed in black who was seen in the area. 

“I would appeal to anyone who may have dashcam footage which could help to please contact us.”

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