FIREFIGHTERS were urging Johnstone folk to shop in vandals before an historic building was lost forever.

Paton’s Mill on High Street was targeted by firebugs in August 2009 - the SIXTH time that year since April.

Johnstone Station Commander Paul Devlin said then: “This situation is causing concerns for both the Police and Fire Service as well as the residents. 

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“These fires are tying up valuable resources and causing disruption within the area. 

“The last fire on August 5 was attended by a total of four appliances and 23 fire service personnel. The appliances were from Johnstone, Paisley, and Yorkhill. 

“All have been deliberate fire setting incidents and to that end any information as to who is responsible should be passed to the police at Johnstone.”

Local resident Jim Crawford, 69, said: “Paton’s Mill is part of this town’s history and it breaks my heart to see it go up in flames again. 

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“The sound of fire engines rushing to the old building is now far too familiar. 

“If these stupid thugs don’t stop wrecking it, the building will burn down completely and the only memories of it will be in the history museum.”

Local Councillor Neil Bibby added: “The majority of people do not want a fire to put any further regeneration projects back.” 

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