Northern Ireland

Fire at 5G mast in west Belfast treated as suspected arson

The blaze happened at Distillery Street, close to the Westlink, overnight on Monday

Damaged caused to a 5G mast at Distillery Street in west Belfast. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

Police are treating a fire at a telecommunications mast in west Belfast as a suspected arson.

The blaze happened at Distillery Street, close to the Westlink, shortly after midnight on Monday.

Three fire appliances including an aerial platform attended.

Extensive damage was caused to the mast at Distillery Street. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

Police said the incident was being treated as “deliberate ignition”.

“Around 12.15am, police were advised by NI Fire and Rescue Service that its crews were battling a mast fire off Distillery Street,” a spokesperson said.

Police are treating the blaze as arson. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

“Officers assisted by closing part of the city-bound Westlink for a number of hours to ensure public safety.”

“Sergeant Peter Tew said: “We are treating this fire, which caused extensive damage to this mast which remains upright, as arson.

“Our enquiries are continuing today.

“We’d ask that anyone with information or who would have dash-cam or doorbell video footage covering this area contact us on 101 quoting 17 24/06/24.”

A number of 5G masts were set alight during a series of arson attacks last year.

Masts on the Donegall Road, Owenvarragh Park, Monagh Bypass, Springfield Road and Stewartstown Road as well as an electric box were all set on fire over a period of four hours.

Police said at the time that they are “investigating a potential link between these incidents”.