Belfast Telegraph

Eight children inside home badly damaged in arson attack in Antrim

A house in Co Antrim was badly damaged after an arson attack on the property.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the fire at a property in the Islay Street area of Antrim just after midnight on Thursday.

It is believed that the fire was started deliberately when an accelerant was ignited at the front of the house.

There were 10 people in the house at the time of the incident, two adults and eight children aged between one and 13. None were injured or needed any medical treatment.

The front door and its surrounding area were completely destroyed. There was also damage to the interior hallway and smoke damage to the front of the house.

Police are treating this incident as arson with intent to endanger life.

Antrim Ulster Unionist councillors Drew Ritchie and Jim Montgomery condemned the attack.

Councillor Drew Ritchie said: “This irresponsible attack could have easily resulted in mass loss of life or injury. Thankfully nobody was hurt on this occasion but clearly those who committed this disgraceful act were not concerned in the slightest what damage they caused.”

Councillor Jim Montgomery added: "This attack was designed to kill and must be entirely condemned. Not only did it risk the lives of those in the house but also of those people living nearby if the fire had spread. It is our understanding there is a domestic reason behind the attack as part of some ongoing feud.

"These types of attacks are not welcome in the area. Disputes cannot be sorted through such irresponsible and dangerous actions and there must not be a repetition of such dangerous actions.

"The local community want to get on with their lives peacefully and those who want to undertake such actions show total disregard for others around them. They are not welcome in the community because of their disregard for life and others.”

Anyone who has information that could help the police investigation is asked to get in touch on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 05 of 26/7/18.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous.

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