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WATCH: Findhorn Foundation hit by devastating fire

By Garry McCartney

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Police have arrested a 49-year-old man in connection with two separate fires at the Findhorn Foundation in the early hours of this morning.

The emergency services, including six fire engines, were called out to the world-famous spiritual community and eco-village at 2am.

Flames had engulfed both the site's central building and what are known as the Findhorn Sanctuary buildings.

Nobody was injured but a dozen residents living near the fires had to be evacuated as a precaution.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "A 49-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances."

Residents from the community have described "intense" fires and "terrible" smoke.

The Park community centre as it was.
The Park community centre as it was.
The Sanctuary before it burned down.
The Sanctuary before it burned down.

Foundation CEO Caroline Matters said: "We are so grateful that no one was hurt and know that the spirit of the community lives in our hearts and connects our community around the world.

"Buildings can be rebuilt. Our main concern is to take care of our co-workers and community."

What is left of the community centre.
What is left of the community centre.
The remains of The Sanctuary.
The remains of The Sanctuary.

The international spiritual education centre was founded 59 years ago.

It has since welcomed tens of thousands of people from all around the world.

Health and safety manager Marc Zozaya said: "We will rebuild. We have been through trials and tough times before and we will make it through this event.

"Things will resume after Covid-19 restrictions end, as there are other facilities that can be used.

"We do not expect it to have a significant impact on the business but it may require some co-workers and residents to be moved from some buildings to others.

"We are deeply grateful to the Scottish Fire Rescue Service for their quick response in containing the fires and ensuring the safety of all concerned.

"The Findhorn Foundation and community are deeply touched by all the support we are receiving both locally and from around the world."

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