Arson latest in series of attacks at West Belfast home

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The ground floor of a house in West Belfast has been targeted in an overnight arson attack.

It's the most recent in a spate of attacks at the property in Dermott Hill Parade in the past few weeks.

No-one was injured but neighbours were forced to evacuate.

Shots were fired at the house in late December and windows were smashed on New Years Eve.

The occupant George Richmond, said he and his wife Geraldine were being forced to leave their home of 30 years.

Police are also investigating a possible link to a shooting incident at a flat in the Upper Springfield road area, on Tuesday.

The flat belongs to Mr. Richmond's daughter.

(Aftermath of shooting incident on Upper Springfield Road flat)

 

A PSNI spokesperson said:

“We received a report of a fire at this property just after 2am.  Our colleagues from the NIFRS attended the scene and extinguished the fire which we believe may have started in the downstairs area.

“The ground floor of the house was completely gutted in the blaze although fortunately no-one was in the property at the time of the incident.  The house next door was filled with smoke and a number of people who were inside at the time were brought to safety.

“We are treating this fire as arson and believe it may be linked to criminal damage at the same address on 1 January, in which a number of windows were smashed.  We are also investigating a possible link to a shooting incident at residential premises in the Upper Springfield road area, which was reported to police on Tuesday.  

“Everyone has a right to live in a safe and stable community and this type of senseless and reckless criminality will not be tolerated.  Those living in the local area who have any information should bring it to police immediately so that we can bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information about these incidents or saw any suspicious activity in the Dermott Hill Parade area in the early hours of this morning, to get in touch with detectives on 101, quoting reference number 97 of 3/1/19.”

 

Detectives have say they're following a number of lines of enquiry but have found "no definitive motive" for the attack.

 

 

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