Belfast Telegraph

Newtownabbey arson leaves takeaway boss 'heartbroken'

Proprietor's fears for his livelihood after attack

By Stewart Robson

The owner of a fast-food takeaway in Newtownabbey has said he is "heartbroken" after an arson attack on his business destroyed cooking equipment and appliances.

Asheem Chaudry owns Bombay Dreams, which has been operating in the Rushpark estate since 2010.

He said that the repair costs will be "substantial" and added that he is concerned about being out of work for any amount of time.

Two fire crews tackled the blaze in the early hours of yesterday morning, extinguishing the flames which reportedly started outside the shop's windows and tore through the roof of the premises.

The PSNI said it is believed that petrol was poured outside the shop and set alight.

Mr Chaudry said he was mystified by the attack and added that nothing of this nature had happened to his business before. "Never mind inside, it's the trading that will be lost," he said

"Every day, we will be losing money."

Asked how long the attack would set him back, Mr Chaudry said: "It's going to be a week, minimum, before we open again.

"We were here when the fire service were here and everything was floating in water, all of the equipment. It's all destroyed."

Bombay Dreams is attached to the Good Fortune Chinese takeaway, which is not believed to have been damaged in the arson attack.

Mr Chaudry said he was alerted after someone contacted him via social media.

He said: "Somebody messaged me on Facebook to let me know what had happened. I live about 30 minutes away in Antrim. I had to call a friend and he drove me here because I couldn't even drive.

"It breaks your heart, but life goes on and we can't stop."

DUP councillor Paul Hamill condemned the attack on people who were "just trying to make a living" and described it as "reckless".

"These are people trying to make a living and are working hard and providing a service in the community.

"To have to suffer this type of attack is wrong and I appeal for anyone with information to go to the police."

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: "It was reported shortly after 12.30am on Thursday morning that a flammable liquid had been poured on a door of the takeaway and set alight, causing considerable damage to the ground floor of the premises."

He added: "The fire is being treated as arson and officers would ask anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information which could assist them with their enquiries to contact police in Newtownabbey on 101 quoting reference number 46 09/08/18.

Belfast Telegraph

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