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Police treating house fire as suspected arson

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McAuley Multimedia 01/04/19 Firefighters tackle a major blaze in the Queens Park area of Coleraine, several fire crews and an aerial appliance are at the scene. Pic McAuley Multimedia

A derelict building has been severely damaged in a major fire in the Queens Park area of Coleraine.

It broke out at around 8.30 last night – and took several hours to bring under control.

It’s understood the fire was started deliberately by a group of young people in the area, and police are treating it as Arson.

Firefighters were also called to another incident in Princess Gardens and surrounding areas, which may be linked.

Crews were drafted in from Coleraine, Portstewart and an Aerial appliance from L’Derry to deal with the incident. Firefighters from Portrush responded to the blaze at Princess Gardens.

A senior fire officer pointed out how these incidents had tied fire crews up, and was putting peoples lives at risk due to the lack of cover in other areas.

Sergeant Black said: “At around 8:15pm, it was reported that the property was set alight by a number of youths in the area. The structure was badly damaged as a result of the incident. Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service attended the scene and extinguished the fire.

“We are also investigating a possible link to this incident and a number of bushes set alight at the Princess Gardens area of Coleraine at around 9:20pm last night.

“Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident or who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time of the incident, to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1254 1/4/19. 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.”

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