Northern Ireland

Larne arson: Mother fears for safety after pigeon loft fire spreads to homes

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Media captionThe fire started in a pigeon loft and spread to the family's home

A mother has said she is "too scared" to stay in her family home after the house was damaged in an arson attack for the fourth time in a year.

Her young family fled from their home in Larne, County Antrim, overnight after the fire started in their pigeon loft and spread to two nearby houses.

One man was treated for smoke inhalation and several pigeons died.

The woman, who did not want to give her name, told the BBC she did not know why her family was being targeted.

She was in the house with her baby girl and her other young daughter when the fire broke out in their pigeon shed.

Image caption The fire started in a pigeon loft and spread to the family's home and their neighbour's property

"We had to run out and wake the neighbours and ring for the fire brigade and try and get the two kids out of the house," the woman said.

"I was wandering about the street with a nine-month-old, not knowing what to do."

She added: "I was trying to get the dog - she was in the back room at the back door and I just saw the fumes and the smoke and the flames at the window.

"I was too scared to go in, in case it blew the window in, but we got the dog out the other way."

The woman thanked her neighbours for hosing the houses down until firefighters arrived.

The family had kept about 30 pigeons in the shed, which was destroyed by the flames.

The roof and windows of their home were also damaged.

The woman said it was the second time that arsonists had killed her family's pigeons.

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