Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine family homeless after house is torched in arson attack

By Allan Preston

A Coleraine family are searching for new accommodation after an arson attack gutted their property.

The blaze at a home in the Long Commons area was reported around 5.15am on Sunday.

A 15-year-old girl and her grandparents were inside at the time and were warned by neighbours.

Yesterday, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was started by "deliberate ignition".

Area commander Mark Smyth said: "We believe some toilet roll was set alight in an outhouse at the back of the property.

"The three residents had a bit of smoke inhalation - we helped them at the scene but they didn't need to go to hospital."

A PSNI spokesperson said the cause of the fire was still to be determined and enquiries are still ongoing.

PUP councillor Russell Watton spoke to the family.

"At the moment they're staying with the grandfather's daughter but are looking for alternative accommodation," he said.

"The family is very well thought of and I know at least one landlord has offered them a vacant property.

"The problem is that it's not yet furnished and their furniture was destroyed.

"They're very lucky they weren't killed. I think the enormity of what's happened has struck home today, it's caught up with them.

"I'm hoping there will be an arrest. No one has an inkling why this family would be targeted."

Belfast Telegraph

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