West Belfast blaze at carpet warehouse being treated as arson

Police are treating as arson, an early morning blaze which caused substantial damage to a number of business premises in west Belfast.

Sunday, 3rd November 2019, 10:55 am
NIFRS were at the scene on Sunday morning

Shortly before 1am the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were called to the fire at a carpet warhouse premises on Kennedy Way.

Detective Inspector Tom Phillips said: “We attended the scene where fire crews where tackling the blaze and which had spread to other business premises in the area. Kennedy Way was closed for a time, but has since reopened.

“The fire, which is being treated as arson, has caused substantial damage to at least three businesses in the area.

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“This has been a despicable attack, which will undoubtedly have a severe impact on the businesses affected.”

A NIFRS spokesperson said: “When we arrived on the scene there was a well-developed fire in the carpet warehouse building. We were aided by the gas company and water service it order to deal with the utilities.

Four pump appliances and one aerial appliance were at the scene along with a command support vehicle to co-ordinate the operation.

The spokesperson continued: “With it being a carpet warehouse there was heavy fire loading, however we managed to contain the fire to the one premises and it was later extinguished.”

He said the roof of the single storey building which was divided between several businesses had collapsed in a number of places and the building has been extensively damaged.

Fire crews remained at the scene on Sunday morning to dampen down the area in order to assess the structural damage to the building and establish the cause of the fire.

Later on Sunday, police confirmed the fire was been treated as an arson attack.

DI Phillips said: “I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area [on Saturday] night and who saw any suspicious activity, or anyone who may have captured any suspicious person/persons in the area on their dash cam, to call us.

“I would also appeal to anyone who has information they believe may assist our investigation to pick up the phone and tell our detectives at Musgrave what you know by calling 101, and quote reference 95 of 03/11/19.”

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.