Belfast Telegraph

Blaze at farm which destroyed club's gear treated as deliberate

By Chris McCullough

A police investigation has been launched after a fire was started in buildings on a derelict farm near Larne.

Although not being used for farming, the buildings and yard at the premises on the Ballyboley Road are used for recreational purposes by members of the Farm Airsoft Club.

Both the police and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) believe the fire was started deliberately just after 8pm on Wednesday night.

The blaze began in one of the farm buildings then spread, destroying the building and equipment belonging to the club.

Claims were later made on social media that a number of individuals had been identified and reported to the police.

It is thought children under 16 were responsible for starting the fire.

The club said it had lost specialist clothing, safety vests, smoke machines and some electrical equipment.

Police are investigating the fire and have appealed for information into the crime.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police in Larne are investigating a fire at a barn on a property at Ballyboley Road on Wednesday June 15.

"The barn, which is one of a number of buildings on a disused farm, is used by a local recreation club who have reported a number of their possessions destroyed.

"The fire, which was reported at around 8.20pm on Wednesday evening is being treated as deliberate and enquiries into the incident are ongoing.

"Anyone with any information is asked to contact officers at Larne on 101 quoting reference 1185 15/06/16."

Two fire appliances and a number of firefighters from the NIFRS were dispatched to the farm to tackle the blaze.

A spokesman for the NIFRS said: "The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service received a call at 8.19pm to a report of a fire at derelict premises at the Ballyboley Road area of Larne on Wednesday June 15.

"Two fire appliances from Larne Fire Station were deployed to the scene of a large derelict barn on fire in the area.

"Firefighters using two jets, one hose reel jet and an extension ladder dealt with the fire.

"The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service finished at the scene at 9.45pm, and the fire is being treated as deliberate."

Belfast Telegraph


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