Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Firefighters save girl (5) and family after home set ablaze in Lurgan's Spelga Park estate

Fire crews rescued three generations of family in Lurgan's Spelga Park estate
Fire crews rescued three generations of family in Lurgan's Spelga Park estate

Fire crews rescued three generations of a family from their home following an early morning arson attack.

A five-year-old girl was among those led to safety by firefighters, who woke the sleeping family as their house smouldered in Lurgan's loyalist Spelga Park estate.

Detectives are investigating after a bag of rubbish was placed by the front door of the family's home and set alight.

Fire crews arrived at the house at 4am on Saturday and woke the sleeping family.

As well as the five-year-old girl, her teenage siblings, their mother and their grandfather, who is believed to be in his sixties, were also saved from the blaze.

They were not injured but the house sustained smoke damage.

The incident is being treated as an arson attack by police.

Craigavon's mayor, DUP councillor Mark Baxter, said he was sickened by the attack, which could have been fatal.

"I am absolutely sickened by this horrific attack on the family in Spelga Park," he said.

"It was a mindless action, carried out by those with scant regard for life, and compounded by the fact that a child of five had to be rescued by firefighters.

"It's only by the grace of God that we are not dealing with a real tragedy today."

Political representatives in the area said they had no knowledge of any paramilitary-related unrest within the estate, which they described as quiet in recent years.

"It's a very peaceful area generally and not one that is subject to such attacks," said the area's DUP councillor Carla Lockhart.

"It's important that I, as a political representative, work with the PSNI to get to the bottom of this, because we could have been dealing with a loss of life.

"There has been very little talk about this," Upper Bann DUP MLA Stephen Moutray, who lives near the estate, added.

He appealed to anyone with information about the incident to contact police.

SDLP councillor Joe Nelson added: "I commend the fire and rescue service for their prompt actions."

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