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PARENTS AND 8 KIDS ESCAPE ARSON ATTACK; Traveller family home set on fire.

Byline: MAURICE FITZMAURICE

A FAMILY of 10 had a lucky escape yesterday after an arson attack burned their front door and hallway.

The house, at Islay Street in Antrim, was targeted shortly after midnight when an accelerant was poured around the area and set alight.

Michael Ward, who lives at the property, said he believes it was because they are from the Travelling community.

He told Q Radio: "[I'm] glad I'm alive and glad my children are alive."

The police confirmed no one was injured but detectives are "treating the incident as arson with intent to endanger life".

They said an "accelerant was ignited at the front of the house on Islay Street just after midnight on Thursday".

A PSNI statement added: "There were 10 people in the house at the time of the incident - two adults and eight children aged between one and 13.

"The front door and its surround were completely destroyed." Antrim Ulster Unionist councillors Drew Ritchie and Jim Montgomery condemned the attack.

Mr Ritchie said: "I understand there may have been up to 10 people, including children, in the house at the time.

"This irresponsible attack could have easily resulted in mass loss of life or injury. Thankfully nobody was hurt on this occasion but clearly those who committed this disgraceful act were not concerned in the slightest what damage they caused."

Mr Montgomery added: "This attack was designed to kill and must be entirely condemned.

"Not only did it risk the lives of those in the house but also of those nearby if the fire had spread.

"These attacks are not welcome in the area.

"The local community want to get on with their lives peacefully and those who want to undertake such actions show total disregard for others around them.

"They are not welcome because of their disregard for life and others."

maurice.fitzmaurice@trinitymirror.com

This fire attack was designed to kill & must be entirely condemned JIM MONTGOMERY antrim yesterday

CAPTION(S):

PROBE Police officer at scene

DAMAGE Front door destroyed at house in Co Antrim yesterday

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 27, 2018
Words:344
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