Belfast Telegraph

Baby could have died in arson attack on home

By Connla Young

The family of a three-month-day baby who suffered smoke inhalation in an arson attack have said the infant could have been killed.

The baby boy’s father and mother were forced to flee through a bedroom window with their son after the attack at Glenville Park in Newtownabbey at 2am on Wednesday.

It emerged last night the attacker poured petrol through a letterbox and set it alight.

As flames spread through the hallway the ground floor flat’s only escape route was blocked, forcing the family to escape through a bedroom window.

The three-month-old baby, who was christened just last Sunday, was later treated by medics for the effects of smoke inhalation.

And although the parents were too shaken too talk about the incident last night, the baby’s aunt, Gemma Quinn, says the family is lucky to be alive. She said: “The child’s father was up giving him a feed when he heard this noise, like pouring liquid, at the door. Within seconds the whole hall was on fire.

“We could have been arranging three funerals here this morning. What sort of person would do that? We are lucky the child’s father was visiting that night and the baby needed fed earlier than usual, so he was awake. My sister is terrified, she doesn’t want to stay in that flat any more. The police might call it an arson attack but as far as we are concerned it is attempted murder.”

The aunt said her sister fought bravely to put the blaze out but was eventually pulled from the burning flat by her boyfriend.

Newtownabbey councillor Noreen McClelland condemned the attack. And Alliance councillor Lynn Frazer described it as “scary”.

Police continued to question a 36-year-old man last night who was arrested in connection with the incident.

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