Blaze at mission hall was started by '˜mindless delinquents', claims councillor

An overnight fire that caused substantial damage to a disused mission hall near Kilkeel was started by 'mindless delinquents', a local councillor has claimed.

Friday, 6th July 2018, 3:30 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:14 pm
The old baptist mission hall on Carginagh Road near Kilkeel. Pic by Google

While the cause of the blaze at the old mission hall on Carrigenagh Road is still under investigation, local UUP councillor Jill Macauley said it had been started deliberately.

Fire crews from Kilkeel were tasked to the remote location near Silent Valley shortly after 2am this morning.

“Firefighters were called to a well-developed fire involving a derelict property. Firefighters extinguished the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation,” an NIFRS spokesperson said.

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Police officers were called to the badly damaged property shortly before 2:30am.

Inspector Nigel Henry said enquiries are ongoing into the cause of the fire, and he appealed for anyone with information about what happened to contact officers on 101 quoting reference 121 of 06/07/18.

Posting on her Facebook page, Cllr Macauley claimed the fire had been started by “mindless delinquents”.

“Saddened to hear that the old mission hall was set on fire last night. This sickening attempt to destroy an old hall under the cover of darkness is utterly reprehensible,” she said.

“The mindless delinquents responsible for such an act must be held accountable for their actions. It is also fortunate that the consequences of their reckless behaviour was not much more serious given the very dry conditions of the land at the moment.”