Woman tells of terror at early morning car blaze

A woman in her 60s has described being woken in the early hours to find her car aflame in what was one of two car fires in the same area at about the same time last night.

Tuesday, 10th July 2018, 4:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:54 pm
Alan Lewis next to the charred wreck

The woman lives in a bungalow to the south of Crossgar in Co Down, and emerged from her bed after a neighbour alerted her to the blaze at 12.40am on Tuesday.

She said as well as her car being ablaze, a skip containing a mattress and an old bike was also alight.

A carer for the elderly, aged 66, she said she suspects the reason for the fire may be because she was flying two flags – one a Union flag, the other an orange one depicting King William on a white horse.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She said she was alerted by a neighbour.

“He says: ‘Get out!’ And I swear my legs wouldn’t even carry me I was that scared,” she said.

“The flames were about 20ft high in the air.”

Whilst “the like of this doesn’t happen here”, she said there was one occasion about a decade or so ago when her car had been splashed with paint.

Alan Lewis, a UUP representative in the area, said he believes it was deliberate, and the motivation was sectarian.

He said “those who engage in such action are mindless, idiotic, uneducated, sectarian bigots”.

The police said enquiries were ongoing to establish the cause of the fire which destroyed the silver Renault Clio.

At time of writing yesterday they said no statement had been taken from the woman.

The fire brigade said they had been called to the incident at 12.36am.

And shortly beforehand at 12.25am the fire service said it had been called to a different car on fire on Kilmore Road, further to the north towards Crossgar.

The fire service told the News Letter that they believe both of the fires were deliberate.