Belfast Telegraph

Councillor hits out at 'utterly stupid' Belfast petrol station arson attack

Damage caused following an arson attack on a vehicle at a filling station on Rosetta Road, Belfast in the early hours of this morning, Thursday, 19 December. Photo Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker Press
Damage caused following an arson attack on a vehicle at a filling station on Rosetta Road, Belfast in the early hours of this morning, Thursday, 19 December. Photo Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker Press

A Belfast petrol station was seriously damaged in an arson attack.

At around 1am on Thursday morning a car parked in the forecourt of the filling station on Rosetta Road was set on fire.

The car was destroyed and the station so badly damaged it has been unable to re-open.

Police are focusing on the activities of a white Ford Fiesta, seen driven suspiciously in the area earlier in the week on Monday and around the time of the attack.

It is believed the car that was set on fire had been stolen from the Southland Dale area of Belfast at 2.50am on Monday, 16 December.

Police and forensic officers examined the scene on Thursday morning.

"We are extremely fortunate we are not dealing with a more serious incident this morning following this unbelievably reckless act," said Detective Sergeant William Arnott said.

"It does not bear thinking about what could have happened to families living nearby if this fire had spread to the petrol pumps of this filling station.  Whoever carried out this irresponsible act did not care who could get hurt."

Alliance councillor Michael Long hit out at the "utter stupidity" of the attack.

“This is a heavily built-up residential area and the actions of those responsible could have led to serious consequences if the filling station had caught fire as a result," he said.

"My thanks go to the emergency services for helping ensure that didn’t happen.

“I urge anyone with information on this incident or those behind it to contact police with it immediately.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at Musgrave police station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting references 66 19/12/19 and 176 16/12/19.  Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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