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Quick action saves family after petrol bomb attack

A quick-thinking neighbour saved a seven-year-old and her mother from potential death following a petrol bomb attack.

The device was placed at the front door of the family's house in west Belfast in the early hours of yesterday.

They were the only occupants when their Colinvale terraced home in Poleglass was targeted at 2.30am.

The terrified little girl had to be treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

The woman escaped without injuries.

Black soot scars the white PVC front door, which had also started to melt in places as a result of the intense heat.

Detectives have appealed for a man who got into a taxi shortly after the incident to come forward.

They have also urged any taxi drivers who were in the Colinvale area around that time to help them with their enquiries.

The house was in darkness yesterday and neighbours said the victims had not returned to the house following the ordeal.

It is understood a brave neighbour, Patrick McVeigh, had been letting his dog out to the toilet when he spotted the blaze.

He raised the alarm and dashed to the scene with a bucket of water.

Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann has condemned those responsible for the arson attack on a vulnerable family.

She said: "Only the quick actions of neighbours to put out the fire have saved this family from being burned to death.

"This was a cowardly attack which clearly set out to murder a mother and her young child in their home.

"It appears inflammable liquid was used to set fire to the front door of the house."

She added: "This incident was attempted murder as those responsible clearly set out to kill the occupants of this house.

"Anyone who could sit down and plot to burn a young child of just seven years old to death in her bed are clearly very dangerous and need to be apprehended.

"I would appeal for anyone that has any information in relation to this incident to please contact the PSNI."

Anyone who noticed any unusual activity in the area or who has any information is asked to contact Lisburn CID on 0845 600 8000 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph