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Fire forces earl to flee castle

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A castle thought to be the oldest in Scotland has been struck by fire, forcing an earl and his son to evacuate the 800-year-old building.

Lord Glasgow and his son David were at Kelburn Castle in North Ayrshire when the blaze, which started on the top floor, engulfed the 13th-century property.

Lord Glasgow, the tenth Earl of Glasgow, will now be following the matter up with his home insurance provider after a number of valuable items were caught up in the fire.

It took approximately 25 firefighters more than five hours to extinguish the fire. Efforts were made to rescue valuables, while those which could not be moved were covered.

A castle spokeswoman said that Lord Glasgow and his son, who is in his late 20s, were not hurt in the fire. The incident is not being treated as suspicious, although it is not yet known how it was started.

She also said there was damage to the roof above the billiard room and possible water damage to the dining room.

The castle has been lived in by the same family since it was first built.

© Press Association 2009