Arson attack on flat a case of ‘mistaken identity’

A man whose property was targeted by arsonists in east Belfast says he believes the attack was a case of mistaken identity.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 6:45 pm

The PSNI is investigating a possible link between an assault and two arson attacks in the Templemore Avenue/Albertbridge Road area between 9.45pm on Sunday and the early hours of yesterday morning.

In the first incident, a man is reported to have been pulled from his vehicle and assaulted by two men at Templemore Avenue.

A few hours later police on patrol spotted a car and property on fire on the nearby Albertbridge Road.

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In a Facebook post, Kurt Gibbons shared photographs of his fire-damaged flat along with a message that “idiots got the wrong house and burnt my flat out”.

He said he took great pride in his property and that he had “been left with absolutely nothing”.

The message added: “Whoever it was I hope yous sleep well tonight and hope yous are proud of your actions, just before Christmas as well thanks a lot”.

The arson attack resulted in a number of people having to evacuate their homes while firefighters dealt with the blaze.

Police have appealed to anyone who may have witnessed any of these incidents to contact them.

A spokesman said: “Were you on the Albertbridge Road, Belfast in and around the time these incidents happened? Do you have any dash cam footage that could assist with our enquiries?”

Witnesses are asked to contact detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference numbers 1752 17/11/19 and 131 and 133 18/11/19.