Coleraine fire may have been started deliberately

Smoke billlowing from the rear of the premises. INCR 04-750-CON
Smoke billlowing from the rear of the premises. INCR 04-750-CON

A fire, which left a Polish family in Coleraine homeless, may have been started deliberately, say the PSNI.

Last Sunday at around 4am the fire spread from an oil tank to a house on the Ballycastle Road.

A man, a woman and a small child were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

The occupants and neighbours were moved from their homes while fire crews tackled the blaze.

Substantial damage was caused to the house.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Kelly Gallagher said: “Following enquiries, it is believed that this fire may have been started deliberately.

“I would therefore appeal to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the area between the hours of 2am and 4am, or anyone who knows anything about this incident, to contact detectives at Coleraine Police Station.”

Last week a Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Fire crews from Coleraine,Portrush, Ballymoney and Portstewart attended the incident which was necessary to quickly attack and contain the large fire at the back of the premises.

“Neighbours had raised the alarm to ourselves and police and gained entry to the premises to alert the occupants who were a young family with a young child.

“Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus searched adjoining houses which were filling with smoke and residents including those with young children had to be evacuated for safety reasons.

“The Fire Emergency Support Services Vehicle (FESS) were tasked to the scene also and provided essential care to those affected in the area providing them with warm clothes, food and a place to stay. Having them there at the scene was vital in keeping the residents safe and warm.”