Northern Ireland

Ballymena flat fire was second arson attack in a week

Galgorm Road flat
Image caption It is the second arson attack on the Galgorm Road building within a week

A flat in Ballymena, County Antrim has been set on fire in the second arson attack on the same building within a week.

The latest fire at the flat on the Galgorm Road was reported at about 03:40 BST on Sunday.

No-one was in the flat at the time but the building sustained substantial smoke and fire damage.

Police are already treating a fire at the block of flats on 16 April as a hate crime.

After the first attack, racist grafitti was found on the building.

Ballymena SDLP councillor Declan O'Loan said it was a "further shocking incident which could have led to loss of life" and called for protection to be given to other residents in the building.

'Distraught'

He said: "The same basement apartment has been the subject of a fire attack as was attacked last weekend.

"Fortunately there was no one in the apartment on account of the previous damage.

"However, other residents in the building were put at serious risk.

"I have spoken to those residents and naturally they are very distraught and worried."

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesperson appealed for anyone with information about the fire to contact them on 0845 600 8000.

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