DETECTIVES are looking to track down three secondary school pupils spotted loitering in a block of flats in Gourock when a fire was started.

The youngsters are believed to have fled from the building around the same time as firefighters were called to the scene.

A 16-year-old boy who lives in the building was injured as he tried to tackle the blaze in the ground floor of a block of flats in Tower Drive yesterday at lunchtime.

He suffered smoke inhalation as he attempted to put out the fire by throwing water over it.

Detective Sergeant Neil Martin of Greenock CID said: “There were three secondary school kids spotted within the close at the same time as the fire was started. 

“A TV was set on fire in the close. We would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the pupils in the close or have any information that would help with our inquiries.”

The teenager who rushed to try to douse the flames was treated with oxygen at the scene and then taken to Inverclyde Royal as a precaution.

Two fire engines from Gourock and one from Greenock were sent to the scene.

Firefighters used breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet to put out the flames.

A fire station spokesman said: “We would advise people for their own safety to stay inside their flats once they have reported a fire.

“We don’t want anyone to put themselves in danger.”

Anyone with information about the fire should contact Greenock CID on 101.