Elderly couple lucky to survive arson

An elderly Banbridge couple had a lucky escape following an arson attack close to their home.

Two cars and two homes were damaged in the attack in Edenvale Avenue at around 12.30am on Saturday April 19.

One of the cars was completely destroyed and an elderly couple who were in one of the houses at the time were left badly shaken by the ordeal.

Dave Long from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the occupants of both houses were lucky not to have been injured.

“There was a car parked outside one of the properties which was well alight,“ he said. “The fire had spread to the property and also to adjoining property. There was damage to the windows, the roof and to the facia at the front of the properties. The crews used breathing apparatus and jets to put the fire out.”

Ulster Unionist representative Jo-Anne Dobson visited them after the attack and said it was fortunate nobody was killed. “I have spoken to this couple, who I know personally, and they have told me just how close the fire came to spreading to their house,” the MLA for the area said. “We could so easily be dealing with fatalities. Those who carried out this attack have absolutely no reason whatsoever for targeting a couple who have exemplary standing in Banbridge.”

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them on the new non-emergency number 101.