Four rescued in North 'arson attack'


A woman and her three children have been rescued from a Co Down house fire that police are treating as a sectarian arson attack.

Police and a neighbour helped save members of the family from the blaze in Newtownards early this morning.

The mother (38), her two daughters aged 12 and seven, and her two-year-old son were not injured but were described as being badly shaken.

The incident occurred in the Lenamore Park area of the town at around 2am. The neighbour and police officers climbed on to an adjoining flat roof to rescue the three children. Their mother was also taken to safety by police.

Newtownards PSNI commander Michael McDonald condemned the attack.

“This was a particularly reckless and cowardly attack which could have had more serious consequences than fortunately we have,” he said.

“The presence of smoke alarms in the house undoubtedly gave the family the advanced warning they needed to allow them to move away from the seat of the fire and most of the smoke. Thankfully the family were uninjured in the fire.

“I am also very proud of the quick reactions of my officers and the neighbour who helped them rescue the children," he added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at Newtownards on 0845 600 8000. Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.