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Ill Derry woman's anguish after awaking to find home target of arson

By Donna Deeney

Published 18/08/2016

The badly charred porch of Katie Greer’s property in Derry
The badly charred porch of Katie Greer’s property in Derry

A woman who suffers from a debilitating condition could have died after arsonists tried to set her home on fire while she was asleep in bed.

Katie Greer, who lives with the rheumatic condition fibromyalgia, moved into her house at Nelson Drive in Londonderry just six months ago.

But now she says she doesn't feel safe in the property after her front door was torched.

The damage was confined to the porch of her bungalow, but she said if the fire had taken hold she could have been killed.

She is at a loss to explain why she was targeted, and believes it was either a random attack or a case of mistaken identity.

She said: "When I came into my hallway I noticed it was dark and when I opened my door it was completely charred and everything in the porch was burned, right up to the roof.

"This has really shook me up and I feel very unsafe in my own home.

"I am lucky that the fire did not spread past the door as I was asleep when it happened.

"This has made me feel really unsettled. I don't want to move and I don't know why this has happened, but I really would like to know if it was a planned attack or a case of mistaken identity.

"I moved to Nelson Drive six months ago and was made to feel very welcome, and I am very thankful for the help I have had with this."

DUP councillor Drew Thompson visited Ms Greer.

He said the outcome could have been catastrophic had the flames taken hold. He added: "It is quite disturbing when you think that this young woman was asleep and unaware of anything wrong.

"This is a row of three bungalows so if that fire had taken hold there could have been extremely dire consequences for a lot of people.

"I have made extensive enquiries on the ground and no one has any idea why this happened so we can only conclude it was totally random.

"This is a young woman who suffers from a serious medical condition who deserves to feel safe in her home, and I am confident the people of Nelson Drive will do what they can to make sure she is safe.

"I would say to whoever carried this out: you need to think about what devastation you could have caused."

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