A sick Instagram account with the name Burningsoon2020 has emerged online threatening to target homes in the Greenock area after a spate of tit-for-tat gangland firebomb attacks.
The menacing account started off by posting videos of the most recent blaze at a flat in the town's Kincaid Court on Monday night, but went on to share a series of chilling images in its Instagram stories.
The stories, containing images of houses in the town which the Daily Record has chosen not to share, were followed by vile captions demanding sums of cash to stop the properties being targeted.
A source told the Daily Record the account is being run by associates of a local gangland figure said to be behind a number of the recent blaze attacks.
One post about a home under threat from Burningsoon2020 reads: "2k call off fee, you know why. Try me, I'd rather you call ma bluff, but am a man of ma word, unlike yous pondlife."
While another property on the hitlist carried the caption: "Nice home. 2k to call off since you're a skint tramp who tried s**t online."
One person responding to the posts wrote: "F***ing state of this lot, advertising who is getting burnt out next."
The captions also referenced a "rat and his jail pal".
It is claimed that the terrifying violence erupted in the town after a gangland boss behind bars ordered a hit on the home of a rival as part of a feud over a year long drug debt.
The Burningsoon2020 Instagram account's main name is GNOCKS (Greenock's) FINEST and carries the strapline: "The maggots just need to stay in their place and innocent people wouldn't be at risk over their jealousy, word on the street."
Monday's attack in Kincaid Court is the fifth fireball attack in Greenock in the past two weeks and cops are 'keeping an open mind' about whether it is linked to what sources say is a gangland turf war that is 'far from over'.
Dramatic footage from the scene of the blaze showed flames erupting from the window of the ground floor property.
Images of the aftermath show the building has been left charred after the fire scaled up an outside wall.
The interior of the property is completely blackened by the flames.
Police Scotland are hunting the occupants of a blue car in connection with the most recent attack. Officers say the vehicle, possibly a BMW, is now central to their investigation.
Terrified neighbours living next to the flat told the Record of how they were taken from their homes late at night by emergency services.
One said: “Having to be evacuated from our homes late at night - it’s shocking.
“We are all in shock and shaken up by what has happened.”
And a second neighbour added: “It’s absolutely insane what’s happened. You can imagine how you’d feel if this happened to you.”
One person has died in the horrifying series of attacks in Greenock so far.
A source, who did not wished to be named for fears over his safety, told the Daily Record last week that a gangland boss in jail sparked the terror in the town after he paid local man George Miller £500 and supplied him with crack cocaine to carry out the first attack at a home Union Street on September 14.
46-year-old Miller died in the attack.
Shocking CCTV footage capturing his death emerged online the following day.
Locals are now fearing more will lose their lives after a series of retaliation blazes targeting innocent women and children in other houses.
On September 16 at around 11.05pm a woman and nine-year-old girl were targeted in a second firebomb attack in the town's Wellington Street.
A 40-year-old woman inside the property was raced to Glasgow Royal Infirmary with serious injuries. Medics say she remains in a stable condition.
The nine-year-old girl also in the flat at the time escaped the incident uninjured.
It's believed the blaze was started by an accelerant launched through a window.
Officers probing the fire say 'substantial damage' was caused to the property and are treating the callous attack as 'wilful fire raising'.
A white Suzuki Splash car seen in the area at the time of the blaze drove off after the incident and was found on fire on Skye Street at 2.20am on September 17.
The motor was stolen from Denholm Terrace, in the west end of the town in the early hours of the September 16.
A fourth fire attack, said by a source to be connected to the gangland war, took place on Saturday September 19 after a petrol bomb was lobbed at a house on Cumberland Road.
A 45-year-old woman, a six-year-old child and two other people were inside the house.
Commenting on Monday night’s incident, Detective Superintendent Gerry McBride said: “This is yet another despicable and reckless act of wilful fireraising in our community, and whether linked to previous incidents or not, I would like to reiterate that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
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“Thankfully, nobody was within the property when it was set alight, and residents in neighbouring flats were evacuated and did not come to harm.
“However, this was a targeted attack which could have resulted in serious injury and we will do everything in our power to find those responsible.
“I am pleading to those in the community who might have information to please come forward and tell us what you know.
“We are also keen to talk to anyone who may have seen the electric blue coloured vehicle described in the area between 9.50pm and 10.20pm to let us know anything you saw.
“We would also like anyone who might have private CCTV or dashcam footage of either the fireraising or the blue vehicle to check and contact police as soon as possible with anything relevant to our enquiries.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 3742 of Monday, 28 September.
Police Scotland had also created a dedicated email address for receiving information regarding investigations into the wilful fireraising in the Greenock area: [email protected]
Alternatively, if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.