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Two boys aged 13 and 15 held after arson attack at Derry centre for disabled


People cleaning up the centre following the fires

People cleaning up the centre following the fires

People cleaning up the centre following the fires

Two teenagers have been arrested after an arson attack on the premises of a disabled charity in Londonderry.

The teenage boys, aged 13 and 15, were arrested on suspicion of arson and two counts of burglary.

They were also arrested in relation to a burglary which occurred at a fast food outlet in the Bishop Street area sometime between 5.10am and 5.25am on Saturday morning.

A sum of money was taken from a till inside the outlet and damage was caused to the door of the property.

Both teenagers remain in police custody.

The attack on the charity's premises was widely condemned.

'Destined' works with people with learning disabilities and last year opened its new North West Learning Disability Centre headquarters on Foyle Road in Derry.

Police received a report on Saturday morning that the business had been broken into.

Two fires were reported in the kitchen and under the stairs of the building.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) dispatched appliances to the scene.

Fire crews with breathing apparatus entered the building with hoses and jets and the blaze was extinguished.

Nobody was inside the property at the time of the incident.

NIFRS group commander William Johnston said the fire was believed to be arson due to the two separate blazes.

"It would be very unusual for two fires to start in different places in the same building," he said.

"We have now handed the investigation over to the PSNI."

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said he was "sickened" to hear the news, while his party colleague Mark H Durkan said he was "disgusted and angry".

"There has been significant public investment there providing state-of-the-art facilities to support the work being done with and by some of the most vulnerable members of our community," Foyle MLA Mr Durkan said.

"Those responsible would need to catch themselves on and consider the consequences of their actions on the community."

PSNI Sergeant Michael Hughes appealed for information.

Belfast Telegraph