The blaze broke out at 1.30pm on Tuesday at Bo’ness United football stadium after multiple rolls of astroturf underlay were set ablaze, sending thick, black plumes of smoke above the entire town, which could be seen as far afield as Edinburgh and Fife.
Following the fire rumours have been circulating locally that it was started deliberately and police have now confirmed this is the case.
Detective Inspector Frank Travers from Falkirk CID said: “As part of this inquiry we’d urge local residents and other members of the public who were in the area on Tuesday afternoon, and witnessed anything suspicious, to contact police immediately. This includes motorists who believe they may have any relevant dash-cam footage.
“I am aware there has been speculation that two individuals have been named as being responsible. I can confirm these persons have been eliminated from our inquiries.
“The assistance of the public is vital in bringing offenders to justice, if you do believe you have information relating to this fire please get in touch with us.”
Devastated members of Kinneil Band spent today coming to terms with the loss of their band hall which has been damaged to such an extent it may have to be demolished.
An entire music library housed in the building has been lost forever as have priceless documents, trophies, instruments and other memorabilia, some of which dates back 160 years.
Despite their heartache members say they are determined to fulfil their community commitments to play at the Bo’ness Fair on June 28 and also at their annual concert at Bo’ness Town Hall on June 14.
The band is also keen to go ahead with its annual fundraiser planned for June 22 and are appealing to local people for help in securing a suitable alternative venue.
Event organiser Alyson Gardener whose husband and father-in-law are both band members said: “Ideally we are looking for somewhere that doesn’t have a bar as we have our own licence so we can organise that side of things ourselves and it will also help with costs.
“I am sure with the help of the community we will find somewhere as helping to raise funds for the band’s future is important now more than ever.
“The community has been absolutely amazing and has really rallied round offering messages of support as have other bands in the area and we can’t thank everyone enough – it has been incredibly touching.”
Anyone who would like to contribute to the Kinneil Band crowdfunding page can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/supportkinneilband