Northern Ireland

Family escapes suspected arson attack on Antrim home

Police car
Image caption Detectives are appealing for witnesses following the fire

A man who escaped a suspected arson attack on his home in Antrim has said he believed it was a hate crime.

Eight children and two adults were in the house on Islay Street in the town, including a child aged one, however none of them were injured.

Police said an accelerant was ignited at the front of the property shortly after midnight on Thursday.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said it was the third such attack on his home.

Image caption This is the third suspected attack on the home, according to a man who lives there

"There was petrol squirted in the door to kill me and my wife and eight children, including a handicapped child," he told BBC Newsline.

The man said his family are members of the travelling community and he believes this is why his home has been the target of attacks.

"It is an evil hate crime," he said.

Damage to the house was limited to the front door and interior hallway. The PSNI are treating the incident as arson with intent to endanger life.