Three homes targeted in arson attacks
Somebody could have been killed, say police
A number of arson attacks across Northern Ireland at the weekend left three properties damaged and a family fearing for their lives.
In Banbridge, Co Down, a woman and her two adult sons were left in shock and fearing for their safety after the front door of a property in Granville Gardens was sprayed with a flammable liquid and deliberately set alight in the early hours of yesterday morning, police said.
Officers believe that three people were involved in the attack on the family home.
Detective Sergeant Colin Patterson said: "Thankfully the fire was extinguished before it could spread to the rest of the house. A woman in her 50s and her two adult sons who were inside at the time were not injured.
"We believe three individuals were involved in the attack and that they travelled to the area in a saloon-style car which they parked up in nearby Ballygowan Park.
"They are believed to have made off along the Edenderry Road."
In The Mount area in east Belfast, a mattress was set on fire in the communal area of an apartment block. Scorch damage was caused to the walls and doors in the communal area.
Detectives investigating the east Belfast incident have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Condemning the attack, Belfast councillor Adam Newton said that setting fire to a mattress inside a block of flats was "a scandalous action by a reckless individual who might well have caused massive damage and potentially a loss of life".
Mr Newton continued: "There have been similar incidents over past years and only by the prompt actions of local people and the emergency services have we avoided a real disaster."
The DUP councillor added: "That the police are treating this incident as the work of an arsonist will be of concern to other residents and all those who live in close proximity."
In north Belfast, police said a house in Silverstream Parade area of Belfast was attacked by arsonists early on Saturday morning.
Detective Sergeant Corrigan said: "It is extremely fortunate that no-one was in the house at the time of this incident."
He continued: "Whoever carried out this reckless attack showed total disregard for the occupant and other residents in the area.
"They did not care who could be killed or injured."
Anyone who has any information about any of these arson attacks is asked to contact the PSNI on 101.