A BUSINESSMAN has hit out after firestarters torched a family car at 3am outside his premises in Gourock.

Hans Stetz parked the vehicle belonging to his sister in the Chalmers Street car park prior to it going into the garage for repairs the next day.

The blaze took hold early on Tuesday morning, leaving the Vauxhall Corsa a burnt-out wreck, and detectives have now launched an investigation into the attack.

Mr Stetz, 54, who owns Gourock Waste Materials and Car Breakers in Cardwell Road, said: "It was my sister's car.

"All it needed was a gearbox reset.

"It was a car that was going back on the road.

"I parked it there because it was going into the garage for diagnostic tests."

Mr Stetz said he heard there were three men lurking nearby before the fire brigade arrived.

He hopes the culprits behind the blaze are caught swiftly and punished properly.

He told the Tele said: "I was told that there were three guys on the bridge over the railway line, all drinking.

"What can you do?

"There's hardly any police in the area and then we see that community wardens are getting attacked.

"I'm fed up of people doing things and nothing happens.

"They get a slap on the wrist, get out on bail or community service."

Mr Stetz says the fire - which damaged another adjacent car - is the last thing he needs as things are hard enough for people in the scrap trade at the moment.

He said: "It's just a nightmare, the way things are going.

"In the current financial climate, business is hard enough.

"The price of metal has collapsed, it's down 70 per cent and China's closed its borders due to the coronavirus.

"We used to have eight to ten central heating jobs a day, now you don't even get that in a month.

"Everyone involved in this game is experiencing a downturn."

Greenock CID are looking for anyone who saw suspicious activity near the premises to get in touch.

Detective Constable Craig Savage said: "At 2.45am on Tuesday a vehicle was set on fire in Chalmers Street, Gourock.

"We are treating the incident as wilful fireraising and are appealing for witnesses."

Anyone with information should call police on 101.