Northern Ireland

Belfast filling station arson attack 'unbelievably reckless'

The car was parked beside the fuel pumps when it was set on fire Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The car was parked beside the fuel pumps when it was set on fire

A stolen car has been set on fire on the forecourt of a Belfast filling station in what police have described as an "unbelievably reckless act".

The blaze at the forecourt on Rosetta Road, in the south east of the city, was reported to police at about 01:00 GMT on Thursday.

The car was destroyed in the fire and a "considerable amount of damage" was caused to the filling station.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The filling station is in residential area

Det Sgt William Arnott said the arson attack had put nearby homes at risk.

"We are extremely fortunate we are not dealing with a more serious incident this morning following this unbelievably reckless act," he said.   

"It does not bear thinking about what could have happened to families living nearby if this fire had spread to the petrol pumps of this filling station.

"Whoever carried out this irresponsible act did not care who could get hurt."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police appealed for sightings of the car before the attack

Police believe that the car was stolen from the Southland Dale area of east Belfast at 02:50 GMT on Monday.

They have appealed for information about the attack and for sightings of a white Ford Fiesta "being driven in a suspicious manner" between Monday and the time of the fire.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police have cordoned off the scene

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