Londonderry: Envy nightclub fire is treated as arson

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Media captionLondonderry: Police and fire crews at Strand Road nightclub

Police are treating a fire that badly damaged a nightclub in Londonderry as arson.

The Northern Ireland Fire Rescue Service (NIFRS) has said that the blaze was started deliberately.

Fire crews were called to the nightclub at about 18:45 GMT on Thursday.

Det Sgt Gavin McLaughlin said the investigation was still at an early stage and that a motive for the attack had not been established.

He appealed for anyone who saw a male acting suspiciously in the Strand Road Area on Thursday night between 18:30 GMT and 18:45 GMT to come forward with information.

Four Northern Ireland Fire Service (NIFRS) pumps and two aerial appliances were deployed to the scene.

A number of diversions were put in place on parts of Strand Road, Asylum Road and Lawrence Hill.

Image caption The fire broke out at the club in Strand Road at about 18:45 on Thursday

The manager of Derry City Centre Initiative, Jim Roddy, said the building appeared to have been extensively damaged.

Mr Roddy said he was grateful no one was on the premises.

"The fire service and police were superb in their work to ensure there were no other buildings caught up in the blaze and no spread of the fire," he said.

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