ONE of Perth’s best known landmarks - the vacant White Horse Inn - has been badly damaged in an early morning blaze.
And the fire at the unoccupied hotel is being treated as “suspicious”.
Firefighters from four fire appliances — three from Perth and one from Dunkeld - were called to the unoccupied hotel in the city’s North William Street shortly after 2.30am today after a member of the public reported seeing smoke coming from the once popular hotel.
A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “The Fire Service incident commander was faced with large amounts of thick smoke escaping from windows on both the ground and first floors. He quickly deployed his crews to force entry to the property and begin extinguishing what was by now a well-developed fire on both floors. He quickly requested additional appliances and the Aerial Rescue Pump was mobilised from Perth and also the retained crew from Dunkeld.
“Fire crews were committed in breathing apparatus in a systematic manner to form an aggressive attack on the fire from separate entry points at the front and rear of the building.”
The spokesman continued: “These crews worked in extremely hot, smoky and arduous conditions through a very complex laid out building, but through their hard work they managed to prevent the fire spreading to the unoccupied flat above, or causing further damage to the building.”
The blaze was finally brought under control around 7am.
The spokesman added: “Police Scotland have begun a detailed investigation into the cause of the fire, working with the Fire Investigation Team from Aberdeen and Scenes of Crime Officers from Glasgow.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but at this time it is being treated as suspicious.”