Northern Ireland

West Belfast: Barber shop damaged in suspected arson attack

The scene of the suspected arson attack on the businesses
Image caption A barber shop and a taxi depot were destroyed in the fire

A west Belfast business owner has said jobs could be lost after his barber shop and taxi depot were destroyed in a suspected arson attack.

The fire started in the premises at Bingnian Drive off the Glen Road at about 04:30 BST on Sunday and police said an explosion was reported.

The shop units may have to be demolished as the blaze caused structural damage to the property.

Image caption The fire caused structural damage to the front of the property

Owner Steven Comerford said he did not know why his business was targeted.

"We've been in the community [for] 18 to 20 years," he said.

"Just don't know why somebody would want to do something like that.

Image caption Fire crews worked to tackle the fire in the early hours on Sunday morning

"It's hard enough with the day-to-day runnings of a business and to manage staff and do your daily routines, without the added pressure of [wondering] where do we go from here."

Police have appealed for witnesses.

Image caption Steven Comerford said his businesses had been based "in the community [for] 18 to 20 years"