Two arrested after fire started at flat - residents and police taken to hospital

The house in Tiger Court, Antrim, which was the scene of an arson attack. INAT09-403AC

The house in Tiger Court, Antrim, which was the scene of an arson attack. INAT09-403AC

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A number of people, including police officers have been treated in hospital following an incident in Antrim in the early hours of this morning.

A fire was deliberately started at a flat in the Tiger Court area of the town.

Shortly before 1.25am, it was reported that a fire had started in a flat in the area.

On police arrival, it was reported that a window had been smashed at the property and it is believed that the fire had been started deliberately.

A number of residents were treated for smoke inhalation, as well as three officers who helped move the residents from their properties.

The residents and two of the officers were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment following the incident.

The third officer was treated at the scene.

Their injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also attended the scene and the fire was extinguished.

A police vehicle which was in the area at the time of the incident was damaged, as a number of youths threw stones at the vehicle.

It is believed that two males were seen running from the area and one man was subsequently arrested.

The 22-year-old was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

An 18 year old man was later arrested this morning on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

The man was arrested in the Antrim area and is currently helping police with their enquiries. The 22-year-old man remains in police custody in relation to the incident.

Alliance Councillor Neil Kelly condemned those responsible for the arson attack and said lives could have been lost.

“There is no justification for this attack,” Cllr. Kelly said.

He added: “I would like to praise the efforts of the police officers who entered the building to bring people to safety and who were treated for smoke inhalation. I hope all those injured in this fire will be able to make a full recovery.

“I am also concerned by the reports that youths attacked police vehicles with stones during this rescue operation. The police are there to serve the whole community, they should not be attacked while they are carrying out their duties.

“I would urge anybody with any information about this arson attack to contact the police.”

Police would ask anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area or anyone who has any information to contact Police on 0845 600 8000. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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