Police arrest 73-year-old man after house fire arson in Londonderry

Emergency services attended a number of incidents in Derry, Newtownards and Castlereagh.

A 73-year-old man has been arrested following a house fire in Londonderry.

Police say it’s understood a bin was set on fire at the back of the property on Chamberlain Street on Wednesday night with the blaze spreading to the house.

Officers remain at the scene this morning, conducting enquiries.

A spokesman said: "No one was in the house at the time, and no injuries have been reported. Both police and NIFRS responded to the fire, which occurred at around 10.20pm last night.  "The NIFRS has deemed the fire to have been started deliberately, which detectives from Strand Road Criminal Investigation Branch are investigating."  

Police said a 73-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson endangering life with intent, and he remains in police custody this morning. Detective Sergeant Ballentine added: "Fortunately, no one was injured and the fire didn't spread to any other properties.

Police are also investigating separate arson attacks in the Newtownards and Castlereagh area.

Newtownards arson attack. Credit: Presseye

The PSNI said at around 4.30am on Thursday they received a report that a car was on fire in the Killard Avenue area of Newtownards.Detective Sergeant Westbury said: “The vehicle was totally destroyed and residents had to be evacuated from a nearby property as Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service dealt with the fire.“This is being treated as arson and I am appealing to anyone who may have witnessed anyone suspicious in the area or anyone with CCTV or doorbell footage that could assist with enquiries, to contact police on 101 quoting reference 193 of 18/05/23.”In Castlereagh, police received a report shortly after 11pm on Wednesday May 17 of a fire outside the front of a house in the Bests Hill area.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Upon arrival, the fire was well established and extensive damage had been caused to the front door area of the house. There was also a melted wheelie bin. "While extensive smoke damage was also caused to the inside of the property, thankfully no one was home at the time and no injuries were reported."We are investigating a number of lines of enquiry and working to establish a motive, exactly what happened and who was responsible."

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101.

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