Mother and child victims of ‘disgusting’ arson attack

PSNI.
PSNI.

A woman and her young child have escaped injury after their north Belfast home was targeted by arsonists.

The attack took place in the Ballysillan Avenue area just after 6am on Saturday.

Police said the fire started in the garden of the property, before spreading to the side of the house and causing smoke damage, as well as damage to a nearby electric box and gable wall.

Inspector Murphy confirmed the incident is being treated as deliberate and appealed for information.

DUP Councillor for Oldpark, Dale Pankhurst, said the incident is the latest in a spate of attacks on new properties in Ballysillan Avenue.

Branding the attack “appalling and disgusting”, Mr Pankhurst added: “After I was made aware of this incident, I called out with the tenant whose home was attacked and offered support and reassurance. It was only then that I was made aware that her one-year-old son was in the house at the time of the fire, and that his room had filled with smoke.

“Neighbours quickly rushed to the aid of the tenant, ensuring that the house was evacuated and the emergency services called. Had it not been for their brave actions, we could have been looking at a much worse situation this morning.

“It is important that this attack, like others before it, is condemned. The community in Greater Ballysillan and beyond are totally sickened by these cowardly attacks, clearly being carried out by criminal elements with a sinister motive.”