'Disgraceful' – Pensioner’s home attacked by arsonists

'Disgraceful' – Pensioner’s home attacked by arsonists

A PENSIONER'S mobility scooter has been destroyed during an arson attack on his home in Co. Down.

A shed was set alight at the back of his house in Ballymote Park, Downpatrick, at about 7pm last night.

The flames spread from the shed to the roof of the house before the blaze was put out by the fire service.

Fortunately the pensioner was not at home at the time.

Colin McGrath, SDLP MLA for South Down, said the outcome could have been much worse.

“The house is the first in a terrace and if it wasn’t for the swift response of the fire service the damage could have been much worse,” he said.

"Thankfully the pensioner wasn't in the property at the time or else the story could have ended very differently.

'Frightened and vulnerable'

"Having spent time with residents at the scene, many were left frightened and feeling very vulnerable.

"This area has been besieged by anti-social behaviour in the past number of years. I have requested alley gates be instated on a number of occasions but have been so far unsuccessful.”

Emma Rogan, Sinn Féin MLA for South Down, also linked the incident to on-going problems with anti-social behaviour.

“Disgraceful behaviour in Ballymote with an arson attack at a pensioner’s home.” She tweeted.

“Despite the hard work from multiple agencies and Sinn Féin locally, a small element continue with this ASB. “

Police said they want to speak to two youths seen in the area immediately before the fire.