ARSONISTS have torched a former Neilston care home for the second time in just over a year.

Butterwell House, formerly known as the Casa Venegas property, was set alight on Saturday night, causing “significant” damage to the inside of the vacant Kirktonfield Road building.

Although the firebugs’ motive is unknown, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Giffnock Police Station has launched an investigation to find those responsible for the blaze.

It is thought the building, once one of 50 St John of God Hospitaller Services in the UK, was under renovation when the fire broke out.

Sergeant Michael Morganthaler, who is based at Giffnock Police Station, told the Barrhead News: “There was a wilful fireraising at Butterwell House, previously known as Kirktonfield House, in Neilston, shortly after 8pm on Saturday.

“It is a vacant property and the fire was reported anonymously.

“The incident is being investigated by the CID at Giffnock Police Station as there was significant damage caused to the inside of the house.”

Neilston councillor Paul O’Kane spoke of his disappointment after learning the site had been targeted by arsonists once again.

He said: “It is obviously a concern to people in Neilston that there has been a second fire at the property.

“Any fire is concerning but particularly when it has happened twice and there are a lot of other houses round about.

“I drove up there and the damage looked quite bad, similar to the previous fire.

“I think they had almost completed the renovation and my understanding was it was going to be a private house.

“Neilston is quite a tight-knit community and it is about making sure that anyone with information relating to this incident passes it on to police.”

The old Casa Venegas building, which has lain empty for more than two years, once housed people with learning and physical disabilities and mental health problems, as well as alcoholics and drug addicts.

Last July, flames engulfed the top floor of the building after vandals broke in, resulting in three fire crews being called to the scene to extinguish the blaze.