Northern Ireland news

Narrow escape for family as cars destroyed in arson attack

Four cars were completely destroyed in the overnight arson attack at Barr's Lane in Derry.
Seamus McKinney

A FAMILY had to use ladders to escape from their home after arsonists set fire to their cars outside the house, it has been revealed.

A number of people were evacuated from their homes in the Hazelbank area of Derry when four cars were destroyed in the overnight arson attack.

Police said two cars were deliberately set on fire at Barr's Lane in Hazelbank shortly before midnight on Monday.

A spokesman said: “Two other cars parked beside the burning cars also caught fire. Police and NIFRS (Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service) attended and the fire was extinguished. All four cars were destroyed as a result of the incident.”

All four vehicles belonged to the same family.

SDLP councillor for the area Shauna Cusack said the family was deeply shocked by the incident. After visiting the family yesterday morning, she said it was only by luck that a tragedy was avoided.

“If the fire spread to the family home, we could have been looking at a much more serious situation this morning.

“If the family had not been able to escape from the house, who knows what might have happened. As it was, they had to leave by ladders that a neighbour put up at the back of the home,” the councillor said.

Ms Cusack said she could not understand the mindset of the attackers who she said had, not only put lives at risk but, traumatised children and young people in the family.

Police appealed to anyone who witnessed the arson attack or who has information about the incident to contact them.

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