POLICE are hunting firebugs who set a Kilwinning property ablaze.

The fire broke out in Kelburne Square in Pennyburn at around 10.30pm on Saturday night.

Mindless yobs are believed to have set fire to a mattress which had been left at the side of the house ready to be disposed of.

However the thugs crept around the home, which the Times understands is occupied by a pensioner, and set the mattress alight whilst the homeowner was inside.

The cladding to the side of the property was destroyed at the house exterior wall was badly damaged.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 10.29pm on Saturday, November 23 to reports of a fire at the side of a property on Kelburne Square, Kilwinning.

“Operations Control mobilised two fire appliances to the scene, where a fire involving a mattress had spread to the gable end of a two-storey terraced house. A further two fire appliances were thereafter mobilised to the scene.

“Crews extinguished the mattress fire, and cut away affected cladding on the gable end to fully extinguish the fire on the exterior of the property. Crews then used thermal image cameras to ensure there no was risk of further spread.

“There were no reported casualties.

“Firefighters left the scene at 11.53pm, and returned the following morning for a planned reinspec tion to ensure the area remained safe.”

A police spokeswoman added: “We have an active inquiry ongoing for wilful fireraising.”