Belfast Telegraph

Property targeted in arson attacks

Residents of an apartment building targeted by arsonists twice in a week are said to be distraught.

The basement flat at the property on the Galgorm Road in Ballymena sustained substantial damage after it was set alight in the early hours of Sunday morning for the second time.

The first attack last Sunday is being treated as a racist hate crime.

Police said the latest fire is also suspicious. It is understood the property was unoccupied due to the damage caused in the first incident.

Ballymena SDLP Councillor Declan O'Loan has called for protection to be given to residents in the building.

"The same basement apartment has been the subject of a fire attack as was attacked last weekend," he said.

"Fortunately there was no one in the apartment on account of the previous damage.

"However other residents in the building were put at serious risk. It is also very fortunate that the smoke alarm system functioned and alerted them in the middle of the night.

"I have spoken to those residents and naturally they are very distraught and worried.

"This was a further shocking incident which could have led to loss of life. It must be investigated very strenuously by the PSNI and I call on anyone with information to bring it forward at once."

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