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Family forced to flee after alleyway arson spreads to their home

By Chris McCullough

Published 07/05/2016

The scene of the arson attack in the Victoria Street area of Lurgan, Co Armagh, early yesterday
The scene of the arson attack in the Victoria Street area of Lurgan, Co Armagh, early yesterday

A woman and two children escaped injury following an arson attack which started in an alleyway just off Victoria Street in Lurgan in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Police say the fire was deliberate and they are looking for a man described as wearing blue jeans, a dark jacket and who was possibly holding a carry-out.

Bags of rubbish and furniture were set ablaze in the alleyway, and the fire caught hold of the house, forcing the family inside to flee.

The police said the entire row of properties could have gone up in flames had it not been for the quick response of the fire service.

Lurgan SDLP councillor Joe Nelson said there had been recent efforts to clean up the Victoria Street area.

He said: "It's sad to hear that people are still dumping rubbish in certain areas and that people were forced to flee their homes in the early hours of the morning.

"It really is irresponsible of whoever started the fire to endanger lives in this manner. They wouldn't have liked to have it on their conscience if something had happened to those children or anyone else.

"I condemn the attack outright and appeal to anyone with information to come forward.

"The community in that area will be shocked that this has happened, particularly so considering all the efforts they have done to clean up the Victoria Street area.

"This person or persons must be found and held responsible for their actions."

DUP councillor Philip Moutray said he was glad the family escaped harm.

He commented: "I am glad no one was hurt in this dreadful incident which I condemn.

"The local residents must be shaken after the fire. I urge anyone with information to come forward to the police."

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