Londonderry flat is destroyed in overnight arson attack

Police in Londonderry are investigating an arson attack at a Waterside flat.

The alarm was raised at Duddy's Court at 21:30 BST on Sunday night.

No-one was in the flat at the time of the fire, and police say there were no injuries.

Neighbours however say they had a lucky escape.

One man who did not want to be identified said he feared for his life.

"I was sitting watching television and I heard the door getting kicked in and heard the feet running up the stairs," he said.

"I heard shouting outside afterwards and that was when I found out that the place was up in flames."

The neighbour said speculation that a petrol bomb was used in the attack is wrong.

"They actually went into the flat and lit it, the owner wasn't there, I heard them running up the stairs so they actually went in and set fire to something.

"Our house was filled completely with smoke, you can still smell it in the house and when we did get back in after the firemen give us the all clear, the wooden floor we have was black."

He said the flats are gas heated and they were fortunate the blaze did not ignite.

"The pipe above the door is gas, the whole balcony is gas heated so it could have been far worse than it is.

"I had to go and get everybody out, my wife and two children were in bed and when I saw the flames going over the gas pipe we just had to get off the balcony altogether."