Fire at Exploris Aquarium is treated as suspicious
The fire service has said a blaze at the Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry is being treated as suspicious.
The owner of the Aquarium Ciaran Quinn said it has endangered the lives of both people and animals.
Posting on Facebook, he said: "It's time we stop this.
"After over three years of anti-social behaviour in Exploris. It has resulted in danger to lives. Both human and our animals.
"Just 30 minutes ago youths are seen running from a fire started deliberately at Exploris.
"We have had attempted robberies, continuous trespassing, young people assaulted etc. But it still continues," he said.
Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong said ongoing anti-social behaviour in Portaferry has now "sunk to a new low".
"The people of Portaferry and the wider community fought hard to not only save Exploris but promote it as one of Northern Ireland’s premier tourist attractions.
"To see local young people determined to cause damage and destruction at this location brings the anti-social behaviour in Portaferry to a new low.
"I plead with parents to be aware of where their children are and I ask the young people themselves to wise up and stop this destruction before it is too late, and you end up with a criminal record.
"Thankfully none of the animals were harmed but if this fire had spread to the building itself, we could be talking today about serious consequences."
Andy Woods, Group Commander for NI Fire and Rescue Service said: "We sent one appliance and a crew from our station here in Portaferry to the scene at around 7.15pm.
"The fire had been set in a Portaloo and was dealt with and brought under control by 7.30pm.
"It's being treated as suspicious."
Belfast Telegraph Digital