Family have lucky escape after arson attack on property

Family have lucky escape after arson attack on property

20 May 2020

A FIRE which started outside the home of a young family in Ardglass last weekend came perilously close to the property.

A fence, shed and bins at the rear of the home at Meadow Court in the village – where five young children live — caught fire on Sunday evening, showering nearby properties in acrid smoke.

A quantity of children’s toys and bicycles which were in the shed were destroyed in the blaze at the rear of Housing Executive property.

Local councillors Dermot Curran and Terry Andrews have condemned the weekend blaze, which may have been started deliberately, describing what happened as “despicable.” 

They have also appealed to anyone with information about what happened to contact police immediately and say it’s fortunate that the blaze did not reach the home which is at the end of a row of two-storey houses at this part of the village.

Cllr Curran said that at a time when people across the district are concerned about their health due to the coronavirus, it beggars belief that a young family with children aged 10, 8, 7, 3 and 2 would be left traumatised by such a terrifying incident.

“It appears that the fence and shed were set on fire and the question is why would anyone do such a thing, particularly as they know this is the home of a young family?” he asked.

“We could potentially have been looking at even more serious incident and I am thankful the family is safe, despite their weekend ordeal. I cannot recall any incidents of this nature in the past in Ardglass and people will be shocked when they learn what happened.”

Cllr Curran described what happened as “particularly concerning” given the close proximity of the fence and shed to a family home.

“I am thankful that no lives were lost and my heart goes out to the children who lost their toys in this despicable incident. I would encourage anyone who can help police with their enquiries to come forward,” he said.

“Such incidents have no place in Ardglass or anywhere else and those responsible for the fire must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”

Describing the Ardglass incident as “awful”, Cllr Andrews said the Housing Executive has been made aware of the incident and hopes that the damaged fence will be repaired as soon as possible.

“We could have had a tragedy on our hands and everyone is thankful that this is not the case,” he continued.

“No family home deserves to be treated in such a callous manner and what happened last Sunday evening is nothing short of abominable. What happened was particularly traumatic for the children who live in the house and words cannot describe the actions of those responsible for the fire.”

Cllr Andrews said he knows that what happened will be condemned by the overwhelming majority of people across the district.

He said: “The thoughts of many people will be with this Ardglass family at this time. My heart goes out to them and I am thankful that what was clearly a serious incident did not end in tragedy.”

Police investigating the weekend fire at Meadow Court are keen to hear from anyone who can assist them with their enquiries.”

Cllr Andrews also hopes that people in Ardglass who may have toys or bicycles that are not being used would donate them to the children who lost so much in the weekend fire.

Anyone who spotted any suspicious activity in this part of the village area last weekend is asked to contact police using the non-emergency 101 number. Information can also be passed anonymously using the confidential Crimestoppers number 0800 555111.