Northern Ireland

Baby girl and elderly couple among nine rescued from Downpatrick apartment block arson attack

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Media captionThe nine people were rescued after a fire at an apartment block

A four-month-old baby girl and an elderly couple were among nine people rescued after an arson attack at an apartment block in County Down.

The blaze at McLaughlin House on Saul Street in Downpatrick broke out about 02:00 BST on Friday.

Three were taken to hospital and six others were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

A Fire and Rescue spokesman said the blaze began when a wheeled bin was set on fire.

'Terrifying'

The baby was taken to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald for tests and is now staying with relatives.

She was rescued by her mother and her partner from a second floor flat.

The young mother said it was "a terrifying experience".

Some residents have been moved to a hotel in Ballynahinch and others are staying with family members or neighbours.

Forensic experts are examining the building which is blackened inside with smoke.

The hallway of the building was badly damaged by smoke.

Four crews from Downpatrick and Ballynahinch were involved in the operation.