Motive behind fire attack on Co Cork house being investigated
Tenant of the local authority house was a woman in her 40s
Gardaí said a technical examination will take place and investigations are ongoing.
Gardaí say they are keeping an open mind on the motive behind a “fire or arson” attack on a house in Co Cork on Tuesday night which left the building badly damaged.
The emergency services were alerted at around 11pm on Tuesday when fire was spotted at the two-storey terraced house in Belgooly, West Cork.
Neighbours in the Meadows Estate spotted the blaze and raised the alarm and units of the Cork County Fire Service from Kinsale and Carriagline attended.
Initially it was feared that the tenant of the local authority house, a woman in her 40s, may have been in the house and there was concern for her safety.
But firefighters were able to establish the house was unoccupied as they worked for over four hours to bring the blaze under control and make the house safe.
Neighbours from the terrace of houses had to be evacuated and the house where the fire started was badly damaged with the roof collapsing in the fire.
The two adjoining houses also suffered significant damage and it is understood that Cork County Council is trying to arrangement alternative accommodation.
Neighbours reported seeing a man wearing a balaclava fleeing from the scene at around 11pm and gardaí began an investigation into the cause of the blaze.
Supt Brendan Fogarty of Bandon Garda Station confirmed a forensic examination by garda technical experts had confirmed the fire was started deliberately.
“We are satisfied from our technical examination that this is a case of criminal damage by fire or arson and we are treating it as a very serious incident.
“We have carried out door-to-door inquiries in the Meadows Estate and at this point we are keeping an open mind as to the motive for this attack,” he said.
Gardai have appealed to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the Belgooly area between 10.30pm and 11.30pm on Tuesday to contact them.
They have asked any motorists who were driving in the Belgooly area and have dash-cam footage to contact them in confidence.
Anyone with any information is asked to contacted Gardai at either Kinsale Garda Station on 021 4779250 or Bandon Garda Station on 023 8852200.