‘Attacks must stop before someone gets killed’

Fire and smoke damage was caused to the front of the Islay Street property. Picture by Jonathan Porter, PressEye
Fire and smoke damage was caused to the front of the Islay Street property. Picture by Jonathan Porter, PressEye

A community worker in Antrim’s Springfarm estate has appealed to those behind arson attacks on the home of a family-of-ten to stop before someone gets killed.

The front of the family’s house on Islay Street was doused with an accelerant and deliberately set on fire just after midnight today. It was the second attack at their property in a matter of months.

Two adults and eight children, aged between one and 13, were in the house at the time and were lucky to escape injury.

According to police, “the front door and its surround were completely destroyed, and there was also damage to the interior hallway and smoke damage to the front of the house.”

Seamus Davis, chairman of Springfarm and District Community Association, said: “There is no justification for this attack whatsoever. There was a mother and father and eight children in the house and they were lucky to escape this.

“It’s fortunate that we’re not talking about some of them having been hospitalised or even killed.”

In the earlier incident, which occurred on April 30, a shed at the rear of the family’s property was destroyed after it was set on fire in an overnight arson attack.

“Whoever carried out these attacks and whatever their reasons, this has to be condemned. They need to stop, take a step back and think about what they’re doing before someone gets killed,” Mr Davis added.

Detectives investigating the attack are treating it as arson with intent to endanger life.

The have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 101, quoting reference number 05 of 26/7/18.