Thursday 8 December 2016

Four families forced from homes after arson attack

Michael McHugh

Published 30/10/2016 | 18:09

Bracken Avenue, Newcastle. Picture: Google Maps
Bracken Avenue, Newcastle. Picture: Google Maps

Four families have been forced from their homes following an arson attack in Co Down in the early hours of Sunday.

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Police confirmed the blaze at Bracken Avenue, Newcastle was being treated as deliberate. Nobody was hurt.

A wheelie bin is believed to have been set on fire and pushed against oil tanks causing them to ignite.

Substantial damage was caused to the nearby flats and fencing, the PSNI said.

SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie said: "Four families have been forced from their homes and are now picking up the pieces from this senseless and deplorable act of destruction.

"I'm sure it has caused them great distress and our thoughts will be with them in the time ahead.

"The local community stand in solidarity with them and I'm sure they will assist in any way possible as they get back on their feet. I'm pleased to hear that at least three of the have found temporary accommodation with friends and family."

She said this was not the first time that this has happened, and it was very fortunate that nobody was harmed.

Ms Ritchie added: "That their lives were put in danger is utterly shameful and beyond the danger posed to the families, the deliberate destruction of social housing at a time when waiting lists are so long is deeply disappointing."

Police confirmed officers were investigating the report of a suspected arson attack at the property.

The fire service attended at around 1.30 am and extinguished the blaze.

Press Association

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