Northern Ireland

Mother escapes injury after Ballysillan home attacked

North Belfast arson

A woman and her young child escaped injury after their north Belfast home was attacked by arsonists.

A small fire in the garden of the house was reported to emergency services at 06:05 BST on Saturday.

It spread to the side of the house on Ballysillan Avenue, damaging a nearby electric box and gable wall. Police said they believed it was deliberate.

DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst said the actions of the woman's neighbours helped avert a tragedy.

"The neighbours actually rallied round, knocked the door and made her aware that there was a fire before the alarms went off," he said.

"When she awakened, the rooms were filled with smoke.

"She went into her young son's bedroom - he's only one year old - the room was filled with smoke and he was quite distraught."

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