Northern Ireland news

Fireman attacked after attending Ballymena arson attack

A fireman was attacked after he attended an arson attack in Ballymena, Co Antrim

A FIREMAN has been attacked by people throwing bricks and bottles after he helped save a person from a burning flat in Co Antrim.

The man was part of a team of firefighters who attended the arson attack in Dunclug Park in Ballymena at around 4.40am yesterday.

Police said "substantial damage" was caused to the flat but no one was injured.

When the fireman left the area, bottles and bricks were thrown at him.

Group Commander Max Joyce said the man was shocked by the "severity of the attack upon him".

"He got into his car and got away from there," he said.

Mr Joyce said there had been a series of attacks on firefighters in Ballymena in recent weeks.

"It is unacceptable that our firefighters who are dedicated to the community of Ballymena and who sometimes put their lives on the line for the people of Ballymena should come under attack," he told the BBC.

"Last evening it was youths but over the past few weeks we've been attacked in other areas of Ballymena, some of those involved have been as young as ten years old."

Meanwhile, police were attacked by youths throwing stones as they tried to find a "person in distress" in Falls Park in west Belfast.

Officers were attempting to locate the person when they came under attack on Saturday evening.

A police spokesman said: "No officers were injured as a result of the incident and the person in distress was then located and tended to until the arrival of paramedics a short time later."

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