News

Police probe Glebe arson attack on shop premises

Thursday, 13 April 2017

A POLICE investigation has been launched following an arson attack on the grounds of a vacant shop premises in the Glebe.

A container at the back of former XL shop in the village was set alight last Tuesday evening (April 4) just after 8pm.

The storage container unit and its contents were completely destroyed and minor damage was also caused to the shop exterior and a neighbouring house. However, thanks to the quick actions of locals and fire crews the fire was prevented from spreading and any serious damage was averted.

The PSNI is now investigating after Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) officers who examined the scene confirmed the blaze at the Garvan Road premises was started deliberately.

"Firefighters dealt with a fire involving a storage unit which spread to an adjacent unoccupied retail unit. The incident was dealt with at 9.59pm. The cause of the fire is being treated as deliberate," a spokesperson said.

Two fire appliances from Strabane Fire Station helped quell the blaze but police have also warned that the consequences could have been much more serious.

"A container located to the rear of the shop had been set alight resulting in the destruction of the container and its contents. There was also slight damage to the shop building and a neighbouring house.

"Thanks to the swift action of members of the public and local fire crews, the damage was relatively minor, however had the blaze not been extinguished so quickly there is no doubt that the damage would have been much greater.

"While the shop is not being used at present, the building is a potential asset to the Glebe community," a spokesperson said.

Maoliosa McHugh is the local Sinn Féin councillor for the area. Speaking shortly afterwards he said the fire had posed a risk to the Glebe community.

"I would like to congratulate the emergency services for attending and swiftly bringing under control a fire outbreak at the rear of what used to the the shop in the Glebe.

"Thankfully, there are no casualties but the circumstances giving rise to this situation are under investigation by the statutory authorities.

"Such outbreaks highlight how communities can be put at risk and must be avoided at all costs," he said.

Appealing for information, a PSNI spokesperson continued: "Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact Strabane Police Station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1181 of 04/04/17.

"Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111."

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