Belfast Telegraph

Passers-by save pensioners from wheelie bin fire

Alert passers-by may have saved the lives of an elderly couple after arsonists pushed a wheelie bin against their front door and set it alight.

The thugs also put burning items through the letterbox of the house in the Moss Road area of Lisburn shortly before 1am on Saturday.

Fortunately a passer-by went into the house and woke the two pensioners, who are related to Ulster Unionist MLA and Executive minister Danny Kennedy's wife.

All three suffered smoke inhalation and a second person who had helped suffered burns.

Mr Kennedy said: "This was a mindless act of violence which has caused great distress to my wife's aunt and uncle.

"Only for the prompt actions of passers-by who raised the alarm and helped in the rescue in the early hours of Saturday morning, we could have been facing dire consequences today.

"Tributes must be paid to those individuals who raised the alarm and also to the emergency services who responded to deal with the aftermath of the attack and gave much-needed medical care.

"The family are relieved that this incident did not lead to a disastrous outcome but it is vitally important that those responsible for this malicious act are caught and dealt with through the judicial system."

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police would ask anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in and around this area or anyone who has any information to contact them at Lisburn on 0845 600 8000."

Or, if someone would prefer to give information anonymously, police said they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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