‘We could have been killed’

A GRANDMOTHER and her family were forced to flee her Banbridge home after an arsonist set her shed alight.

Lily Foster, 64, shook with shock as she told how her son and 12-year-old granddaughter had a lucky escape from their home in Hillhead Park in the early hours of last Friday morning.

Lily, who has lived in the property for the past 20 years, said she was woken by a thudding at the window and her son’s screams to “Get out, get out!” as flames rose up outside her bedroom window. “I thought someone was throwing stones at the window and then I saw the flames and heard my son shouting so I just ran,” Lily told the Leader.

“I never thought something like this would happen me.”

It is thought a petrol can was found near the shed at the back of the house.

When the shed went up in flames the nearby oil tank soon caught fire, scorching the side of the house and causing smoke damage inside.

“My house is ruined,” said Lily. “I had just finished decorating my front bedroom but there’s smoke damage everywhere. The kitchen, bedroom and bathroom are ruined.”

But despite the damage done to her home Lily said the situation could have been much worse. “We could have been dead,” she said. “We are lucky to be alive. I have great neighbours here and am so grateful to my next door neighbours for alerting the police and fire brigade.”

Lily said she will stay with her son while her house is repaired but she admitted her fear in moving back.

“I will have that fear of this happening again,” she said. “But I wouldn’t leave my home. I have lived here for too long to move away now.”

A 28-year-old man was arrested shortly after the incident charged with arson, intent to endanger life and breaching bail.